Brethren & Sisters,
Respected Donors to the Russian Orthodox Youth Committee,
Beloved in the Lord!
By the mercy of God, we are issuing a new calendar for the year 2017. First of all, as is fitting, we sincerely desire that each person who opens our calendar will receive health and strength of soul and body from the Lord, and that our divinely saved homeland, and each Orthodox Russian wherever he may be, will enjoy peace and prosperity during the forthcoming “acceptable year of the Lord” (Is. 61: 2; Lk. 4: 18).
This year, our calendar is dedicated to the centennial anniversary of the historic tragedy that changed the fate not only of Russia, but of the whole world. The overthrow of the government (the “February Revolution”) in 1917 and the subsequent abdication from the throne of the martyred Tsar Nicholas II Alexandrovich, will be discussed: Was this abdication juridically legal? Yet we must look truth in the eye: the sovereign divested himself of supreme authority when literally the entire leadership, military and civil, who by oath were bound to be the first to support their tsar, abruptly disavowed him, subjecting the anointed of God “to betrayal” (Mt. 26: 2). Many saw, and still see, in the abdication of the martyred tsar what is tantamount to weakness of will. But his exalted sense of responsibility, his readiness for self-denial, governed his actions: the sovereign acted as he did to avoid bloodshed and further upheavals among the people, as his traitorous entourage assured him. “There is no sacrifice which I will not make for the genuine good and salvation of my native Mother Russia”, the Tsar declared in the telegram he sent to Michael Vladimirovich Rodzianko. “Vile slander had shaken the Tsar and even the trust placed in Him by a significant portion of Russian society,” said St. John of Shanghai, “and the ensuing, artificially stirred up turmoil was not repressed by either the authorities or society. Faint-heartedness, cowardice, treason, and betrayal in all its fullness were displayed by them. Many made haste to seek the trust and favor of the criminals who had come into power.” All that happened later was the direct result of the revolt of February-March. Yet in those times, which were, one may say, the apotheosis of betrayal, the wondrous “ Ruling ” Icon of the Mother of God was revealed to us as a sign of hope for the repentance and rebirth of the Russian nation and the Russian Orthodox government. In our days, by God’s mercy, this promise is beginning to be fulfilled.
Our calendar for 2017 contains brief accounts of the holy Tsar Nicholas the Passion-bearer, historical photographs, as well as views of several churches dedicated to the Ruling Icon of the Mother of God and several other icons through which were manifested Divine protection over the Russian peoples.
Archbishop of Montréal & Canada,
President of the Russian Orthodox Youth Committee