Lubov Miller (Millar)

biography, in French, transated from Russian by Pierre Skorov, Tilda Lovi, Lydia Ermakoff
préface du Protopresbytre Boris Bobrinskoy

Sainte Elisabeth Sainte Élisabeth, Princesse allemande, martyre russe | Grand Duchess Elizabeth of Russia: New martyr of the communist yoke | Святая мученица Российская Великая княгиня Елизавета Федоровна
published: April 2009

320 pp.
format : 210 mm x 140 mm
soft cover
isbn :978-2-35586-024-9

price france : soft 26 €

 

This unexpectedly powerful and contemporary text is able to remind us that the world in which we live in not merely one of selling and buying, and that each one of us is a human being able to empathise with others. This thoroughly documented book is written in a tactfully evocative style, deeply moving yet never tearful. It is tragic but hopeful. This is not a history book, but the story of an exceptional woman. The aura of her martyrdom cannot fail to affect and awaken the humaneness that always lies in one’s heart – however deeply buried. This is a tribute to a life of remarkable consistency and to a woman whose charitable actions and unstinting devotion to the poor and the suffering continue to yield fruit to this day. Upon her initiative, schools, hospitals, associations for children and adults in need have been created all over the world.
Grand Duchess Elizabeth (1864—1918) died as a martyr during the Russian revolution. She was canonised by the Russian Church Outside of Russia in 1981 and by the Moscow Patriarchate in 2000. Her life of abnegation, courage, faith and boundless love for the other, has deeply marked her time and continues to be a shining example of hopefulness and loving-kindness for generations of believers and non-believers alike, in the entire world.

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summary of content

Reputed to have been one of the most beautiful women of her time, Elizabeth of Hesse-Darmstadt was the daughter of Grand Duke Ludwig IV of Hesse and of Princess Alice of Great Britain. She was the sister of Empress Alexandra of Russia and the grand-daughter of Queen Victoria of England. In 1884 she married her Russian cousin, the Grand Duke Sergei, the youngest son of Tsar Alexander II, and the brother of Tsar Alexander III. In 1888, four years after her marriage, Elizabeth made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, to attend the inauguration of the Russian church of the Holy Mary Magdalene in Jerusalem, erected in the memory of Empress Alexandra Fedorovna. This pilgrimage affected her deeply. Of Lutheran confession, but brought up by her mother in the Anglican tradition, Elizabeth decided in 1891 to convert to Orthodoxy – much to the surprise of her immediate entourage and even of her husband. This deeply personal decision stemmed from the impression made on her by the authentic faith of the Russian people, to which she was to devote her entire life from then on. Her unstinting devotion to the poor and the suffering and her generosity quickly made the Grand Duchess very popular. After the assassination of her husband on 17 february 1905, Elizabeth took the veil and founded in Moscow the convent of the Holy Martha and Mary. She became the Mother Superior of the convent and dedicated her life to taking care of the ailing and helping the poorest.
During the Revolution she refused help from abroad and preferred to remain with the nuns of her convent and to continue her activity, at the risk of her own life. Elizabeth was eventually arrested by the Bolsheviks and deported to Ekaterinburg, then to Alapaevsk, in the Ural region. She remained imprisoned for a long time under very poor conditions, before being executed on 18 July 1918. Having blindfolded her, the executioners threw her alive, together with her companions, in a half-flooded mining well. Seeing that they had failed to drown their victims, the executioners attempted to kill them by throwing grenades in the well. They then stuffed the well with branches, set fire to it and withdrew, leaving their victims to a long and painful agony. The priest that used to be Elizabeth’s confessor during her detention, later found the victims’ corpses, put them in coffins and traveled with them across Siberia to China, to put them in safety beyond the Russian borders. Saint Elizabeth is now buried in Jerusalem.

strong points

Those pages make loving-kindness and humaneness come to life: these concepts cease to be abstract. Saint Elizabeth incarnates herself again, as it were, in Liubov Miller’s moved and moving prose. Here the author not only masterfully tells a unique life story, but truly leaves her reader spellbound as if he had personally met this outstanding character.

the author

The author of this book, lives in Australia. She was born in the Manchuria region of China, to a family of White Russian émigrés. Having survived the atrocities of the Civil War (1918-22) and communist persecutions, her parents were forced to flee Russia and eventually settled in Australia.

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around the book, dossier

to read a fragment, demo ePub, demo PDF (French version)objets livre 33 Sainte Élisabeth, Princesse allemande, martyre russe | Grand Duchess Elizabeth of Russia: New martyr of the communist yoke | Святая мученица Российская Великая княгиня Елизавета Федоровна

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