Faithful to the End: Aleksei Andreyevich Volkov (1859-1929)

On this day – 27th February 1929 – Aleksei Andreyevich Volkov died in exile

Born in 1859, Volkov served as valet at the court of Emperor Nicholas II. He escaped a death march at Perm in September 1918 and survived.

As a young adult, Volkov entered the Russian Imperial Army and rose through the ranks. He was on guard and witnessed the assassination of Emperor Alexander II (1818-1881) in 1881. He later served as a military instructor to the future Emperor Nicholas II.
From 1886, he was in the service Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich (1860-1919). In 1910, he became a valet at the court of Nicholas II. He served as the Empress Alexandra’s personal servant and often pushed her wheelchair.

In 1917, Volkov followed Nicholas II and his family into internal exile to Tobolsk, but was separated from them at Ekaterinburg and imprisoned at Perm. It was in Perm, that he learned that the Tsar had been murdered by the Bolsheviks, though he was unaware that the Tsarina and their children had also been shot.

On 4th September 1918, Volkov was taken from his prison cell in the middle of the night and led to the prison office, where he saw lady-in-waiting Anastasia Hendrikova (1887-1918) and the elderly tutor Catherine Schneider (1856-1918).

The group were walked all the way to the edge of town, when Volkov realized they were being taken into the woods to be shot. He broke from the group and ran for his life at the first opportunity. A bullet whizzed past his ear. Behind him he heard gunshots as the other prisoners in the group were shot and killed, including Henrikova and Schneider.

Volkov eventually joined other refugees at the White Army headquarters in Omsk and made his escape from Russia through Vladivostok and the Far East. In 1922, he settled in Estonia. He later lived in Denmark, where he was highly respected in the Russian émigré community because of his lifelong loyalty to the Imperial Family.

During his years in exile, he wrote his memoirs about his time at court and his escape. Volkov also discusses his eye-witness account of the Khodynka Tragedy in May 1896.

Alexey Andreevich Volkov died in Estonia on 27th February 1929, in Yuriev (Tartu). He was buried at the Assumption Cemetery.

Memory Eternal! Вечная Память!

© Paul Gilbert. 27 February 2023

Faithful to the End: Klimenty Nagorny and Ivan Sednev 


Klimenty Grigorievich Nagorny (left). and Ivan Dmitriyevich Sednev (right)

Today – 28th June 2022 – marks the 104th anniversary of the death and martyrdom of two faithful servants to Emperor Nicholas II and his family – Klimenty Grigorievich Nagorny and Ivan Dmitriyevich Sednev. 

Klimenty Nagorny and Ivan Sednev selflessly served the Tsar’s children. Nagorny in particular, lay the great responsibility of protecting the Tsesarevich, even the slightest injury could put the heir to the Russian throne in danger, due to his hemophilia. Alexei was very fond of Nagorny, who in turn showed complete devotion to the Tsesarevich, faithfully sharing with him all the joys and sorrows.


Nagorny and Tsesarevich Alexei in Tsarskoe Selo, 1907

Klimenty Nagorny and Ivan Sednev voluntarily stayed with the Tsar’s family during their house arrest in Tsarskoe Selo, and then followed them to Tobolsk, where Nagorny shared a room with the Tsesarevich, serving him day and night. Together with the Imperial family, Nagorny also attended all the divine services, and the only member of the family’s retinue who was a member of the choir organized by the Empress: he sang and read for the Imperial family during services held in the house church.

In the spring of 1918 Nagorny and Sednev once again, voluntarily followed the Imperial family to Ekaterinburg. They spent only a few days in the Ipatiev House, and then were separated from the Imperial prisoners. They were arrested and imprisoned, their sole crime had been their inability to hide their indignation on seeing the Bolshevik commissaries seize the little gold chain from which the holy images hung over the sick bed of the Tsesarevich.

On 28th June 1918, they were shot in the back by the Bolsheviks, in a small wooded area behind the Yekaterinburg-2 railway station (modern name – Shartash). Nagorny and Sednev were “killed for betraying the cause of the revolution” – as indicated in the resolution on their execution. The murderers left their bodies unburied.

When Ekaterinburg was occupied by the Whites, the the half-decayed bodies of Nagorny and Sednev, were found and solemnly buried near the Church of All the Afflicted (demolished). Witnesses at the funeral recall that the graves of the former sailors of the Imperial Yacht Standart were strewn with white flowers. Their graves were not preserved – they were destroyed when the Soviet authorities built a city park on the site of the cemetery.

Both Nagorny and Sednev were canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) on 14 November 1981, and both rehabilitated by the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation on 16 October 2009. They have yet to be canonized by the Moscow Patriarchate. 

Memory Eternal! Вечная Память!


Sednev and Alexei Nikolaevich, in the Finnish skerries, 1914 

Nagorny, Klementy Grigorovich (1887—1918) – from 1909, he served on the Imperial yacht Standart and appointed as a footman to the imperial children. He received the Court title Garderobshik (wardrobe keeper) in 1909 and accompanied the Imperial family on every tour. In November 1913, he was appointed assistant dyadka to guard the Imperial children. He travelled with the Tsesarevich Alexei to Mogilev during 1914-16. After the Tsar’s abdication, he lived under detention with the Imperial family in Tsarskoe Selo, Tobolsk and Ekaterinburg.

Sednev, Ivan Dmitrievich (1881—1918) – was recruited into the Russian Imperial Navy in 1911, where he began as a machinist on the Imperial Yacht Polyarnaya Zvezda (Polar Star) then transferred onto the Imperial yacht Standart. By invitation he became a Lakei (liveried footman) to the Grand Duchesses, and subsequently to the Tsesarevich. Ivan lived under detention with the Imperial family in Tsarskoe Selo, Tobolsk and Ekaterinburg.


On 13th June 2022, a new monument (seen in above photo) to four faithful servants – including Nagorny and Sednev – of Emperor Nicholas II, was installed and consecrated on the grounds of Novo-Tikhvin Convent in Ekaterinburg.

© Paul Gilbert. 28 June 2021

Faithful to the End: Anna Stepanovna Demidova (1878-1918)

PHOTO: Anna Stepanovna Demidova (1878-1918)

On 27th (O.S. 14th) January 1878, Anna Stepanovna Demidova, a loyal subject of the Russian Imperial family was born into the bourgeois family of Stepan Aleksandrovich Demidov and Maria Efimovna Demidova in Cherepovets, situated in Vologda Oblast, Russia.

Her father was a well-off merchant in Cherepovets, where he also served on the Cherepovets City Duma. The Demidov family made a significant contribution to the development of Cherepovets, its improvement and prosperity.

Anna had four brothers Alexander, Nikolai, Stepan, Sergei and two sisters Apollinaria and Elizabeth, all of whom received an excellent education. For the first two years, Anna Demidova studied at the John the Baptist Leushinsky Monastery, founded by the famous Abbess Taisia, the spiritual daughter of St. Righteous John of Kronstadt.

After graduating from this preparatory school, Anna continued her education for the next six years at the Teachers’ School for Women, a higher educational institution at the same monastery. Abbess Taisia ​​prepared a curriculum for her pupils, which included such subjects as religion, Russian literature, foreign languages, arithmetic, history, natural science, and music. In addition, lessons were conducted in painting, needlework and icon writing [in the Orthodox Christian tradition, icons are said to be written, not painted].

The abbess paid great attention to instilling high moral qualities in her students: deep faith, diligence, striving for good, a sense of responsibility and duty. Her methods prepared Anna’s for her future. After graduating with honours in 1898, Anna Demidova received a certificate of home teacher.

PHOTO: record of the birth of Anna Demidova in the birth register of the Cathedral of the Resurrection in Cherepovets

It should also be mentioned, that it was at this school that Anna’s handicrafts earned her first prize at exhibitions. According to a family legend, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna became interested in Anna’s needlework during a visit to the exhibition of handicrafts at the Leushinsky Monastery in Yaroslavl. The Empress was completely delighted with Anna’s handicradts, since she herself was engaged in needlework. Wishing to meet her, the Empress, after a conversation with the Anna, offered her a place of chambermaid at her Court at Tsarskoye Selo. Officially, Anna Demidova was enrolled on 13th January 1898 and “… assigned to the rooms of H.I.M. Sovereign Empress Alexandra Feodorovna.”

In accordance with her program for the following day, the Empress herself made a list of things which she planned to wear the next day. The chambermaids carefully prepared her clothes. Anna’s duties as chambermaid included caring for the Empress’s wardrobe, which consisted of several dozen oak and ash wardrobes, filled with dresses and accessories. Anna even had an electric iron at her disposal – one of the technical wonders of the time!

In 1901, Anna received an offer to teach embroidery, knitting and other needlework to her four daughters: Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia.

The Empress selected Anna not only for her inherent skill, but also for her high moral qualities. She believed that “above all knowledge a person should have a clear conscience and live a righteous life.” Anna fully met these requirements. In addition, Anna was educated, elegant, knew several foreign languages, and played the piano.

Anna Demidova or “Nyuta,” as the Imperial Family called her, was described in adulthood as a “tall, statuesque blonde” and “of a singularly timid and shrinking disposition.” For her many years of devoted service to the Imperial Family, Anna Demidova was granted hereditary nobility.

Those employed at the Alexander Palace all received a rather decent salary. In addition, they could invite family and relatives to visit, who were accommodated in the Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum nearby. This allowed Anna’s sister Elizabeth – for whom she was especially close – to live near her for several years. Despite the many privileges enjoyed by the servants of the Imperial Court, there was one – an essential condition – that all chambermaids had to remain maidens [unmarried].

Thus, the Imperial Family became Anna’s family. “Nyuta” was devoted to all the Tsar’s children, but she had special, maternal feelings for the youngest, Grand Duchess Anastasia, and she reciprocated her. There is even a postcard with the image of the Mother of God that Anastasia sent her from Paris in 1906: “Dear Nyuta! I congratulate you on the holidays and wish you to spend as much fun as possible. Although I write a little late, it’s better late than never.”

PHOTO: Anna Stepanovna Demidova (1878-1918)

Following the February revolutionary events of 1917, before going into exile with the Imperial Family, Anna sent some of her personal belongings to her sister Elizabeth in Cherepovets, which included albums with photographs that are to today kept in the personal archive of her grand-niece Nina Alekseevna Demidova.

In August 1917, Anna along with other faithful servants, followed the Tsar and his family into exile to Tobolsk, and then to Ekaterinburg. It was during this time, that the chambermaid began to keep a diary:

“Thursday, 3rd August. After a long while, I slept well for the first time. For the last two weeks, when I learned that they were going to send us “somewhere”, I lived nervously, slept little, worried about the unknown and where they would send us. It was a difficult time. Only on our way did we learn that we are “on our way to the far north”, and to think – “Tobolsk”, my heart aches. Today, at one of the stops (of course, we did not get off), someone at the station asked our carriage conductor: “Who is travelling?” The conductor replied gravely: “American Mission”, as the train read “American Red Cross Mission”. “And why is nobody getting off the train?” “Because everyone is very sick and barely alive.”

Anna was bitter to see what awaited them at their place of exile. “Oh God! The house is almost empty, no chairs, tables, washbasins, no bed, etc. The window frames have not been exposed since summer and are dirty, there is rubbish everywhere, the walls are filthy. In short, the house was not prepared at all. Now the cleaning is underway … “

In Ekaterinburg, “Nyuta” helped the Empress send letters to her family and friends and taught the grand duchesses needlework, which boiled down to darning and mending bed linen.

On 15th January 1918, Anna Demidova officially ceased to be listed in the service of the Imperial Family. She repeatedly had the opportunity to leave the Imperial Family, but each time, neglecting her well-being, Anna remained faithful to her human and Christian duty. However, she was not alien to the feeling of fear. Once she confessed to the English tutor Charles Sydney Gibbes: “I am so afraid of the Bolsheviks, Mr. Gibbes. I don’t know what they will do with us.”

The last months and days of Anna Demidova passed in an atmosphere of incessant humiliation and bullying. On the night of 16/17 July 1918, Anna Stepanovna Demidova was shot in the basement of the Ipatiev house in Ekaterinburg together with the Imperial Family and three other faithful servants. Anna’s death was cruel and violent: one of the killers counted the wounds on her body – there were 32 of them.

On the fateful night of 16th July 1918, Anna Stepanovna was awakened by Dr. Botkin and told her about the threat of an attack on the house. She, in turn, woke up the grand duchesses. Despite Yurovsky’s warning not to take any things with them, the prisoners nevertheless took various little things – in case of a “possible journey”. Anna Demidova carried two large pillows down to a room located in the basement of the Ipatiev House. She placed one behind the back of the sick Tsesarevich, who was seated on a chair. The second pillow [filled with precious family gems] remained clutched to her chest.

According to the memoirs of a participant in the regicide of Mikhail Aleksandrovich Medvedev (1891-1964): “The veil of smoke and dust was thinning. Yakov Mikhailovich [Yurovsky] invited [Pyotr Zakharovich] Ermakov and me, as representatives of the Cheka and the Red Army, to witness the death of each member of the Imperial Family. Suddenly, from the right corner of the room, a woman screamed: “Thank God! God saved me!”

“Staggering, the surviving chambermaid rises: she had shielded herself with a pillow, in the fluff of which bullets were stuck. The Latvians have already fired all their cartridges, then two of them with rifles charged at her and bayoneted the maid.”

Another participant in the regicide, Alexey Georgievich Kabanov (1890-1972), also describes the death of Anna Stepanovna with even more gruesome details: “The chambermaid was still alive on the floor. When I ran into the execution room, I shouted to stop firing immediately, and finish those still alive with bayonets. <…> One of my comrades began to thrust the bayonet of his American Winchester rifle into the chambermaid, but the blunt blade did not pierce her chest, and she grabbed the bayonet with both hands and began to scream … “

According to other testimonies, Anna Demidova “kept running back and forth across the room shielding herself with pillows,” . . . “rushing along the left wall,” which is why bullet marks are visible in different parts of this wall and even in the jamb of the front door.

PHOTO: on 17th July 2013, Archbishop Maximilian of Vologda and Veliky Ustyug consecrated a memorial plaque (below) installed on the house where Anna Demidova was born in Cherepovets

On 1st November 1981, Anna Stepanovna Demidova, was canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR), along with Nicholas II and his family, as well as the three other servants.

At the time of this writing, the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, has not yet canonized Anna Demidova.

On 17th July 1998, Anna Demidova’s grand-niece, Natalia Demidova, attended the burial ceremony for the remains of the Imperial Family and their servants in the Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg.

On 16th October 2009, the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation made a decision on the rehabilitation of 52 close associates of the Imperial Family who had been subjected to repression, including Anna Demidova.

In March 2012, the Cherepovets newspaper «Речь» announced the planned perpetuation of the memory of Anna Demidova, by the installation of a memorial plaque on the house in which she spent her childhood and youth (Sovetsky Prospect, 31 – former Voskresensky Prospect).

The memorial plaque was installed on 17th July 2013, the text of the memorial [translated from Russian] reads:

Here Anna Stepanovna Demidova was born and spent her childhood. The maid of the last Russian Empress Alexandra Feodorovna remained faithful to her convictions, voluntarily stayed with the family of Nicholas II and suffered a martyr’s death along with them on July 17, 1918 in Yekaterinburg. Canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad in 1981“.

The rite of consecration was performed by Archbishop Maximilian of Vologda and Veliky Ustyug. In his speech, Vladyka spoke of the need to remain faithful to God, the Motherland, and duty in difficult times. “Faithful in small things, faithful in great things,” Vladyka quoted Abba Dorotheos and noted that there were many people who betrayed the Emperor. Anna Stepanovna Demidova was one of the few who exemplified loyalty.

On 14th September 2013, by the decree of Archbishop Maximilian of Vologda and Veliky Ustyug, the Sunday school of the Church of the Nativity of Christ was named in honour of Anna Stepanovna Demidova.

Holy Royal Martyrs, pray to God for us!
Святы Царственные мученики, молите Бога о нас!

© Paul Gilbert. 10 June 2021


Dear Reader

If you enjoy my articles, news stories and translations, then please help support my research by making a donation in US or Canadian dollars to my project The Truth About Nicholas II – please note that donations can be made by GoFundMePayPal, credit cardpersonal check or money order. Thank you for your consideration – PG

Faithful to the End: Countess Anastasia Vasilyevna Hendrikova (1887-1918)

PHOTO: Countess Anastasia Vasilyevna Hendrikova (1887-1918)

A conference held last week in the Ural capital of Ekaterinburg, was attended by historians, ethnographers, researchers, archivists, tourism specialists, as well as representatives of public and church organizations. The conference was just one of a series of events marking the memory of members of the Russian Imperial House, who were martyred in the Urals in 1918-1919.

Among the participants was the abbess of the Alexander Nevsky Novo-Tikhvin Convent in Ekaterinburg, Abbess Domnika (Korobeinikova), who presented her paper on the life of Countess Anastasia Hendrikova, a loyal subject of Tsar Nicholas II and his family, who followed them into exile and shared their fate on 17th July 1918.

I am honoured to present Mother Domnika’s paper on Countess Anastasia Hendrikova [born 6th July (O.S. 23rd June) 1887]:

I would like to start with a precise description given to Countess Hendrikova by one of her contemporaries: “This gentle, fragile girl with a childish face, who seemed so weak, possessed the soul of a heroine.” Many believe that the only feat of Countess Hendrikova was the fact that she voluntarily followed the Imperial family into exile. But in reality her whole life was a feat. During her short life she tried to bring joy and comfort to those around her, despite the fact that she herself had to endure many sorrows. She wrote about it this way: “A thought shared with me by the [Empress] today touched my soul deeply: “that I may use the experience of suffering that the Lord has sent me for the joy and comfort of others.” Perhaps this is the purpose assigned to me by God?”

Countess Hendrikova began to perform this feat in childhood, when her mother, Sofya Petrovna, after a complex operation, was left bedridden. Anastasia cared for her invalid mother for the next 20 years, selflessly devoting all her free time. Not only did she look after her, but constantly tried to raise her spirits, forgetting about her own needs. Countess Anastasia adhered to the words spoken to her by the Empress: “Be merry with [her] and give her all the warmth of your love. Bright face – despite the suffering of your poor soul.” At a time when many of Anastasia’s peers led the carefree life of aristocratic women in the capital, year after year she followed the narrow path of selfless service to her mother. The grief of many years gradually nurtured her faith, strengthened her prayers, and made her able to live for others. Although Anastasia belonged to high society, she led the simplest way of life, one that was distinguished by modesty. Raised under the strict rules of her mother, she maintained her purity. According to the memoirs of Sergei Smirnov, secretary of the Serbian princess Elena Petrovna, Countess Hendrikova often visited the church in the name of the Twelve Apostles, located not far from her home. Two zealous priests served in this church, first Archpriest Mikhail Gorchakov, then Archpriest Arkady Vinogradov, talented preachers and wise pastors. They spiritually nourished young Anastasia, provided her with good advice, helping her in her faith and patience to bear the ordeal in her home. 

In 1910 she became a maid of honour to the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna. All the members of the Imperial family fell in love with her openness of soul, kindness and sincere desire to bring joy to others. She became a beloved member of the family’s inner circle, everyone affectionately called her Nastenka. Captain Nikolai Sablin recalled how on one trip on the Imperial Yacht Standart the Empress was sad due to Alexei’s illness [haemophilia], and Countess Hendrikova did her best to console her. Anastasia Vasilievna herself only just recently had experienced her own grief: her father, Count Vasily Alexandrovich, died of a heart attack. But despite this, Countess Hendrikova, as Nikolai Sablin wrote, brought “a stream of liveliness and vigor into the life” of those around her. The Empress told her: “You are the sun for all your darlings.”

PHOTO: Hendrikova (left) with Grand Duchesses Olga and Tatiana Nikolaevna

In the tragic days following the February Revolution of 1917, Countess Hendrikova remained true to her vocation – to be a consolation for those around her, particularly the Imperial family. In March 1917, the Emperor and his family were placed under house arrest in the Alexander Palace at Tsarskoye Selo. While many courtiers were in a hurry to leave the Tsar’s family, Countess Hendrikova, on the contrary, hastened to return from Kislovodsk, where she had gone to visit her sister. Despite the fact that her beloved sister Alexandra was ill at that time, she immediately set off on the return journey, realizing that the Tsar’s family needed her more. Upon her returnt to the Alexander Palace, she too was placed under arrest, that evening, she wrote in her diary: “Thank God, I managed to arrive in time to be with them.”

Some believe that Countess Hendrikova did this only out of duty or from her sense of devotion to the Imperial family. But a close acquaintance of the family, helps us to understand the true reasons for her feat. “Countess Hendrikova was a person of deep, not superficial, faith. From early childhood before her eyes were living examples of piety. Faith was the basis of her life and that of her family. Anastasia followed the Imperial family quite consciously, for the sake of God’s commandments, realizing that suffering and death awaited her.” This is evidenced by the entry in her diary, made before leaving for Tobolsk: “I surrender myself entirely into the hands of God with trust and love and I know that [the Lord] will support me during trials and in the moment of death.”

Anastasia Vasilievna Hendrikova also grew up in an atmosphere of reverent reverence for Father John of Kronstadt. It is known that the Hendrikovs turned to him with a request for prayer. In response, the pastor wrote them a letter, which Anastasia carefully kept until the end of her days.

Raised by examples of living faith, Countess Hendrikova found her support in God throughout her life. Her faith and love for the Lord were manifested in the days of the trials that awaited her. In 1917, before leaving with the Tsar’s family to Tobolsk, she wrote in her diary: “I cannot leave here without thanking God for this wonderful world and the power that He sent me and supported me during these five months of house arrest. The harder and harder my life becomes, I feel a greater spiritual peace. I realize now that this is the best, the greatest happiness, and that everything can be endured, and I bless God. I have experienced for myself that as the sufferings of Christ manifests within us, Christ will strengthen our consolation.” It is truly remarkable that this was written by a woman who was preparing to go into exile, into complete obscurity! There is no fear in her words no despondency, but only peace and gratitude to God. At the same time, the Countess was well aware that she would be facing even greater trials. But she accepted them with trust in God and humility. She wrote: “If [God] sends me more trials and difficulties, then he will give me more strength accordingly. You just need to ask Him for the Holy Spirit and strength for the day ahead.”

Countess Hendrikova’s notes testify to the depth of her spiritual experience. Her diary is filled with reflections like the following: “I see your palace, my Savior, adorned”. I do not yet have clothes to enter into it; much has to be [changed] in myself in order to enlighten the garment of my soul. But may the Lord do this, and I will accept from Him, with gratitude, all the trials that He will send to me, firmly believing that they will enlighten the garment of my soul.” She realized that not by her own strength, but only by the grace of God, a person can perform virtues. And she constantly turned to God with faith and hope for His help. She wrote: “I know that I am nothing without the help of God: despondency, fear, cowardice take possession of me as soon as God’s grace leaves me, but I know that it must be so at times, that this is a necessary test, which you must try to humbly and patiently endure, and then again bright moments appear, and I wait for them and so I believe that they will come. I had so many of them that I know that this is only God’s mercy, not according to my merits.”

PHOTO: Hendrikova (right) under house arrest with the Tsar and his family in 1917

As can be seen from the countess’s diary, in Tobolsk she did not miss a single opportunity to go to church, prayed with the Tsar’s family and faithfully attended all services held in the Governor’s House. During the Great Lent of 1918, she received Communion twice: during the first week, together with the Imperial family, and on Great Thursday, after the departure of the Tsar and Empress to Ekaterinburg.

In May 1918, Countess Hendrikova travelled with the rest of the Tsar’s family Ekaterinburg, but she was not allowed into the Ipatiev House, instead she was imprisoned. In July, after the murder of the Tsar’s family, the Countess was transported to the Perm prison, located on the outskirts of the city. In prison, Anastasia still tried to comfort others: sometimes she even sang to support Princess Elena who was imprisoned in the same cell with her. Elena was the wife of Prince of the Imperial Blood Ioann Konstantinovich, who had been murdered in Alapaevsk along with Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna and other members of the Imperial family. Sergei Smirnov, the secretary of the princess, recalled: “Nastenka with her joyful smile supported the good state of mind of Elena Petrovna, a very nervous nature and experienced so many difficult hours. All the time I remember Anastasia’s charming smile, her friendliness.” 

Countess Hendrikova remained courageous until the final minutes of her life. On 4th September 1918, she was taken from prison, ostensibly to be transferred to another place. She realized that she was being led to her death, but remained calm and warmly said goodbye to Elena Petrovna. Like the Holy Royal Martyrs, she was not afraid of death, because the premonition of a future blissful eternity comforted her soul. In her diary she wrote the following prophetic words: “If death awaits me, I am not afraid. I have much more there than here. I will finally be at home, in eternal bliss and peace. [Earlier] the doors [to eternal life] were closed to me, they are terrible, but now I feel them closer, open, just as clearly as you see the Royal Doors in the church open on Holy [Easter] week.”

Countess Hendrikova was murdered outside the city. She died from blows to the head with a rifle butt, which severed her parietal and temporal bones, her body was thrown into a ditch, where it was later discovered by the Whites.

Anastasia Hendrikova was only 30 years of age when her life was cut brutally cut short by the Bolsheviks, but during this short time she managed to bring joy and consolation to many others, and for herself to find a crown in the Kingdom of Heaven, to which she always aspired. As General Dieterichs wrote: “Anastasia Vasilievna was not afraid of death and prepared herself for it. She confidently believed in a bright afterlife and in the Resurrection on the last day, and through this power of faith she drew vitality and peace of mind.”

Today we believe that now she, together with the Holy Royal Family, stands before God and prays for us.

Holy Royal Martyrs, pray to God for us!
Святы Царственные мученики, молите Бога о нас!

PHOTO: Countess Anastasia Vasilyevna Hendrikova (1887-1918)

Click HERE to read my article The fate of the royal servants Anastasia Hendrikova and Ekaterina Schneider, published on 4th September 2020

© Paul Gilbert. 15 October 2020