"...for the last time the former rulers of their own home had
gathered to fervently pray, tearfully, and on bended knee,
imploring that the Lord help and intercede for them in all of their
sorrows and misfortunes." Thus the Archpriest Afanasy Belyaev
described the faith and piety of the Russian Imperial family, whom
he served as priest and confessor, on the occasion of the
Tsarevich's thirteenth birthday. These selected excerpts from the
chaplain's diary open a window into the souls of the now sainted
Royal Family and the struggles endured in their first five months
of confinement following the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II in
early 1917. Russian cultural historian Marilyn Pfeifer Swezey sets
the diary in its historical context and offers an epilogue to
complete the story of the Romanov's journey to martyrdom at the
hands of a Bolshevik firing squad in a Siberian basement.
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