My cancer journey and prayers for the intercession of Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II

PHOTO: the miraculous Myrrh-Streaming Icon of Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II and the Order of the Holy Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II

On 22nd April, I was diagnosed with colon cancer. No one ever wants to hear their doctor utter the words “tumour” or “cancer” – each word inflicting both shock and fear into a person – I was no exception. I recall that the first thing that popped into my head at that moment, was whether the cancer had spread? I would not know for sure until a C-Scan was performed, for which I had to wait another 3+ weeks. Until then, the waiting and uncertainty only fanned the flames of my fears.

In the days leading up to my C-Scan and surgery, I filled my time with the “best medicine”: prayers, positive thoughts, and laughter. I reached out to my family, friends, and to the many people who follow me on my blog and Facebook pages. I was simply overwhelmed by the love and support I received from thousands of people – many of them from people whom I have never met – from all over the world.

In addition, prayers were being said for me by Orthodox and non-Orthodox clergy in the United States, Canada, Australia, Britain and Russia.

One of the most inspiring messages I received, one which had a very profound effect on me, was the following, sent by a friend:

“You must remember that you have your work on Nicholas II to complete and it is YOU who have been chosen from above by His Majesty. May God be with you, dear Paul!”

On 14th May, I had my C-Scan, and 3 days later, the doctor called me with the results. I was so relieved to learn that the cancer had not spread to any of my vital organs or my bones. Glory to God for all things!

PHOTO: Paul Gilbert poses in front of his lithograph copy of the original miraculous Myrrh-Streaming Icon of Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II, gifted by Ija Schmit(1936-2018) in 1996

The intercession of Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II

Just two days before my admission to hospital, I was doing some spring cleaning – simply to keep my mind occupied – when I discovered a large firm envelope hidden behind some boxes in the back of my closet. I discovered that the envelope contained a large 12″ x 15″ colour lithograph copy of the miraculous Myrrh-Streaming Icon of Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II (seen in photo above).

This icon had been gifted to me back in 2000 by a friend in California. I could not believe that it lay hidden and forgotten alI these years! I was quite overcome with emotion, because I knew that this was an exact lithograph copy of the miraculous Myrrh-Streaming Icon of Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II, the same miracle-working icon which has been venerated by Orthodox Christians for more than two decades.

I placed the icon in a frame and hung it on a wall in my home. I then began to pray to God through the intercession of Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II, to help me get through my surgery and healing. I prayed for strength and courage, and I prayed for good health. Not only do I want to live to a ripe old age, I want to return to my beloved Russia, and I also want to continue my work in clearing the name of Russia’s much slandered Emperor and Tsar.

As some of you may already be aware, I have been considering entering the Russian Orthodox Church for several years now, and during that time have spent many hours in prayer and solitude in Orthodox churches, praying to God and venerating icons of Orthodox saints. In my home, I have icons of the Holy Royal Martyrs and Russian saints, which I venerate on a daily basis.

On the morning of Friday, 20th May, I arrived at Oshawa General Hospital for my surgery. My blood pressure and blood sugars went through the roof! Prior to surgery, my blood pressure exceeded 200!!, that is how stressed I was. When I was taken into the operating room, I repeatedly made the sign of the Orthodox Cross over myself, recited the Lord’s Prayer, the Jesus Prayer, and Psalm 23. Just before the anaesthesiologist administered the medication, I was filled with calm and peace . . .  

The next thing I knew, I was coming out of the anesthetic in the hospital recovery room. The following morning, the surgeon came to see me and informed me that “the surgery went very well”, that the tumour had been successfully removed, and that I would NOT require ANY chemotherapy. “Lord my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me.” (Psalm 30:2).

I have nothing but praise for the doctors and nurses at the hospital, all of whom went over and above the call of duty to ensure that I received the best possible care. After spending a few days in Oshawa General, I was sent home. I spent much of my recovery in bed sleeping or resting in my favourite armchair with a cup of tea and a good book. I still have some minor pain, and limited mobilty, however, my health continues to improve with each new day.

My post-surgery care now requires me to have blood work done and a C-Scan every six months and an annual colonoscopy over the next two years.

While my cancer was not life-threatening, the surgeon informed me that he had also removed three pre-cancerous [changes to cells that make them more likely to develop into cancer] polyps, noting that if I had I left it another year, that my situation would be much worse. I was one of the lucky ones, as the cancer was detected in its early stages.

I am the first to admit that my cancer journey pales in comparison to those of many others, it was a journey which nevertheless has had a profound impact on me, one which God willing, will add many more years to my life, and lead me to fulfill my heartfelt aspiration to enter the Russian Orthodox Church.

PHOTO: Oleg Ivanovich Belchenko, holding the miraculous Myrrh-Streaming Icon of Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II, at the Monastery of the Holy Royal Martyrs in Ganina Yama

The miraculous Myrrh-Streaming Icon of Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II

The Icon of Tsar-Martyr Nicholas was commissioned by Ija Schmit (1936-2018), a Russian émigré in the United States, who used money inherited from her mother to have the icon painted in 1996.

I first met Ija in October 2000, when she joined my annual Romanov Tour to Russia, which that year included Moscow and Crimea. Ija was accompanied by her husband Harvey and their daughter Nina. It was during this visit that she told me about this icon, a copy of which she later gifted me.

The icon would be dedicated to the future canonization of Tsar-Martyr Nicholas in Russia[1], and in memory of her mother. After Ija’s initial inspiration to have the icon painted, she contacted iconographer Paul Tikhomirov, himself a Russian immigrant, to see if he was interested in her project. Tikhomirov’s response was, “I will make the icon shine!” They decided to depict Nicholas II in coronation robes [1996 was the 100th anniversary of his coronation in Moscow], with St. Nicholas, his patron saint, and St. Job, on whose feast day Nicholas was born, in the upper right and left hand corners. Below the figures would be printed in Russian, “This Holy Icon is for the Canonization of the Tsar-Martyr in Russia.”

Ija received the finished icon on 12th May 1996 and then traveled to Texas, where it was blessed by Bishop Constantine (Yesensky), an old family friend, who had served as Bishop of Great Britain. The icon, however, was not intended solely for family veneration. Ija and her husband, Harvey Schmit, had already arranged to have paper copies of the icon printed to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the coronation of Tsar Nicholas II on 27th May (O.S. 14th) 1996.

Forty-four thousand copies of the icon were printed. The distribution of the icons [printed in three sizes], was handled by Ija’s own non-profit organization, the Society Honoring Russian Nobility, and income from the icons sold in the West purchased food and medicine for needy pensioners and orphans in Russia. A fourth, smaller version of the icon was printed by the thousands and given away in Russia without charge.

As word of the icon spread, Christians from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and even Serbia, began writing and requesting copies. The Society has met all these requests and distributed more than twenty thousand icons in Russia alone.

On a visit to Russia in late 1996, Father Herman [Ija Schmit’s brother] presented a number of prints to Fr. Juvenaly, the priest at the St. Nicholas Almshouse in Ryazan. On 16th (O.S. 2nd) March 1998 (the anniversary of Tsar Nicholas II’ abdication and the miraculous appearance of the Reigning Icon of the Mother of God. Fr. Juvenaly blessed Dr. Oleg Belchenko with one of the prints, which the doctor took with him back to Moscow. The paper icon had been given to him in a glassfronted, three-dimensional wooden icon-case (a kiot) and Dr. Belchenko set it in a prominent place in his Moscow apartment. On 5th September, Dr. Belchenko noticed that a red spot had appeared over the right eyelid of the Tsar. The following day a second red spot appeared over the left eye. Dr. Belchenko first compared the icon with a smaller print to be sure that he had simply overlooked the distinctive marks. The smaller icon did not match. Dr. Belchenko then called Sretensky Monastery of the Meeting of the Lord to ask what he should do. The monks asked him to bring the icon of Tsar Nicholas to the monastery the following morning. Dr.Belchenko arrived early and stood through the liturgy holding the icon in a plastic bag at his side. At the end of the liturgy a moleben and blessing of the waters was held. The officiating priest recognized Dr. Belchenko, and knowing that he had come with the icon, had the choir sing a troparion for Tsar-Martyr Nicholas. Following the troparion, Dr. Belchenko noticed one of the parishioners staring at him. Finally, the man approached and asked, “What is that fragrance?” Dr. Belchenko replied: “You are probably smelling incense – I am sorry, I can’t smell anything myself because I have a cold.” The man persisted: “No. I tell you, the fragrance is coming from somewhere around you… the smell is much more refined than incense.” Dr. Belchenko replied impatiently, “You should be ashamed of talking such nonsense while the service is going on!” The man moved away embarrassed, but within a few moments other worshippers filtered over, curious about the fragrance and asking what was in the package. “Nothing, only an icon,” he replied. “Show it to us.” As Dr. Belchenko opened the package and took out the icon, the remarkable scent filled the church.

The icon of Tsar Nicholas II was displayed for veneration in the monastery church for three weeks. After Dr. Belchenko took it home, the fragrance continued to a lesser degree, and as word began to spread, Muscovites increasingly asked to come to his apartment to venerate the icon. Dr. Belchenko felt that his home was too small to accommodate many visitors, so he asked an Orthodox friend, Alla Dyakova, to keep the icon in her flat, where those who wished could venerate it. When asked how he was able relinquish such a treasure, Dr. Belchenko answered, “The icon is not mine. It belongs to all Russians.”

On 19th October, Alla Dyakova and Fr. Peter Vlashchenko, a married priest from the Ivanovo region, took the icon to Elder Kyril of St. Sergius Lavra, who was in Peredelkino, outside Moscow. Elder Kyril venerated the icon and blessed Fr. Peter and Alla with the words, “Go. Take the icon to whomever asks for it.”

On 1st November, the icon was brought to the Martha-Mary Convent in Moscow, founded by Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna, the sister- in-law of Tsar Nicholas II and herself a new-martyr. The day not only marked the birthday of Elizabeth, but the anniversary of Tsar Nicholas’ assuming the throne at his father’s death in 1894. The icon of Tsar Nicholas was placed on the analogion next to an icon of Grand Duchess Elizabeth. Throughout the Divine Liturgy the icon of the Tsar poured forth waves of fragrance, filling the chapel.

It is worth mentioning that the popular veneration of the Tsar-Martyr played an important role in the canonization of the Imperial Family at the Jubilee Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Church in 2000 among the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia.

In August 2000, the Russian Church met at a synod in the Christ the Saviour Cathedral, Moscow. Amongst the things discussed was the issue of canonization. The eagerly-awaited news finally escaped the cathedral’s walls to the faithful gathered outside: Tsar Nicholas II and his family were now recognized as Saints! The date of their martyrdom was now recorded in Orthodox calendars around the world as their feast day. It is certain that influential in this decision were two paper icons of the martyrs, both of which exuded sweet-smelling myrrh and so revealed those Saints to be themselves “a sweet aroma of Christ unto God” (2 Cor 2:15).

The keeper of the miraculous image, the Moscow surgeon Oleg Ivanovich Belchenko, has travelled around Russia for many years, bringing the icon to to churches and monasteries arousing veneration of the Holy Royal Martyrs wherever it went through its aromatic myrrh. Many Orthodox Christians believe that their prayers have been answered by God through the intercession of the Tsar and his family.

Lately, due to his age, Oleg has handed over this honourary mission to Alexander Fedorovich Chernavsky, a publicist, head of the Orthodox Mission for the Revival of the Spiritual Values of the Russian People. The Myrrh-Streaming Icon of Tsar Nicholas II, appears with the same unpretentious simplicity with which the late Tsar laid down his throne and bore his final months of house arrest before his death and martyrdom.

Holy Tsar Martyr Nicholas II, pray to God for us!

NOTES:

[1] The desire of many Russian Orthodox Christians for the canonization of Tsar Nicholas and his family does not stem from a belief that their personal lives were blameless, although from historical accounts and the family’s own letters it is obvious that they were Christians of great integrity. The widespread desire for the family’s canonization is based on the fact that Tsar Nicholas and his family were murdered as a result of his position as the sacramentally anointed Orthodox monarch of Russia.

© Paul Gilbert. 14 June 2022

Russian archival documents shed new light on Nicholas II

I am reaching out to those who follow my Nicholas II blog and Facebook pages. During the month of May 2022, I am running my annual appeal for donations in aid of my research. It is no coincidence that I chose May, as it is the month marking the 154th anniversary of the birth of Emperor Nicholas II on 19th (N.S.) 6th (O.S.) 1868.

For more than 70 years, the Romanov archives were sealed, with access denied even to Soviet historians – unless of course for propaganda purposes. Since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, a new cache of documents – including memoirs, diaries, and letters – have been discovered, many of which shed new light on the legacy of Emperor Nicholas II. These documents both challenge and disprove many of the popular held negative myths and lies which perpetuated during the 20th century and endure to this day.

During the years (2015-2020) that I published my semi-annual periodical Sovereign, I focused on having new works by Russian historians translated and published in English for the first time. Now that I am retired, I can devote more time to the translation of previously unpublished documents from Russian archival sources, and thus providing English readers with new works, which offer a very different assessment than that of the negative one which has endured for more than a century now.

Let us work together in helping to clear the name of Russia’s much slandered Emperor and Tsar!

Summer 2022 Appeal

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

PHOTO: the proposed cover of the English translation, features this photo of Emperor Nicholas II and Vladimir Voeikov at the Stavka, the headquarters of the Russian Imperial Army, in Mogilev. 1915-1916

I have already embarked upon a major translation project: WITH THE TSAR AND WITHOUT THE TSAR by Major General Vladimir Nikolaevich Voeikov (1868-1947) – the first three chapters have already been translated into English by a Russian friend who lives in Ekaterinburg.

Originally published in Russian in 1936, this will be the first English translation of the sad but captivating story, about the man who, from 1913-1917, served as the last palace commandant to Emperor Nicholas II. Voeikov was the son-in-law of the Minister of the Imperial Court Vladimir Borisovich Frederiks (1838-1927). He was one of the few men at Court, who remained faithful to the Tsar.

His memoirs describe the events the February and October 1917 revolutions and their consequences for the Russian Empire and the Tsar; foreign policy intrigues and the chain of events that led to the First World War and Russia’s participation in it; Court vanity and envy; the private lives of the Tsar and his family at Peterhof, Tsarskoye Selo and Livadia; and Voeikov’s ordeals as he fled Bolshevik Russia.

Translations are very costly – this book is 330 pages – which is why I am reaching out to those who share an interest in the life and reign of Nicholas II.

Please consider making a donation to help fund the translation of Voeikov’s memoirs, a very important historical record on the life and reign of Russia’s much slandered Tsar.

Summer 2022 Appeal

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

© Paul Gilbert. 1 May 2022

COLOUR Hard cover edition of ‘Nicholas II. Portraits’ now available!

CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW TO ORDER FROM AMAZON

*HARD COVER EDITION @ $50 USD

PAPERBACK EDITION @ $40 USD

BOOK DESCRIPTION

Large format 8-1/2″ x 11″ hard cover and paperback editions, with 178 pages + 200 Colour and black & white photographs

SECOND EDITION, FEATURING 185 FULL COLOUR PHOTOS!

I am pleased to announce the publication of my latest book Nicholas II. Portraits, in both hard cover and paperback editions. This is first hard cover book and my first book featuring full colour photographs.

Originally published in 2019, with 140 pages with 175 black and white photos, this new expanded edition features more pages and more photographs: 180 pages + more than 200 photos, including 185 FULL COLOUR and 30 black & white!

Nicholas II. Portraits explores a century of portraits of Russia’s last emperor and tsar, through the eyes of pre-revolutionary and contemporary Russian, and foreign artists.

This unique title – the first book of its kind ever published on the subject – features an introduction, as well as a series of short articles, and richly illustrated, including many full-page, with detailed and informative captions.

The cover features a portrait of Tsesarevich and Grand Duke Nicholas Alexandrovich (1889), the future Emperor Nicholas II, by the artist Baron Ernst Friedrich von *Lipgart (1847-1932).

* Lipgart painted a whole gallery of portraits of Nicholas II, my book features 10 of them – all in COLOUR!

The Emperor is depicted in the uniform of the Prussian 8th Hussar Regiment, of which he was appointed an Honourary Chief in 1889, his cape is decorated with the Royal Prussian Order of the Black Eagle.

The painting hung from 1890 to 1995 in the former dining room of Neuhaus Castle, directly opposite the portrait of Elector Clemens August of Bavaria. The officers of the 8th Hussar Regiment established a club for their meetings here and in the adjacent premises. The Prussian regiment was stationed at Neuhaus and Paderborn castle from 1851 to 1919. Following the end of World War I, the regiment was disbanded.

From the Collection of the Museum of the House of Bavarian History in Regensburg, Bavaria.

The articles include: Serov’s Unfinished 1900 Portrait of Nicholas II; A Nun’s Gift to Russia’s New Tsar. The Fate of a Portrait; Galkin’s Ceremonial Portrait of Nicholas II Discovered; among others!

Famous portraits and their respective artists are all represented, including Serov, Repin, Lipgart, Tuxen, Bakmanson, Becker, Bogdanov-Belsky, Kustodiev, and many others.

The last section of the book is dedicated to the works of contemporary Russian artists, who have painted outstanding portraits of Nicholas II since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.

AVAILABLE EXCLUSIVELY FROM AMAZON WORLDWIDE!

© Paul Gilbert. 10 December 2021

Bones of Contention: The Russian Orthodox Church and the Ekaterinburg Remains

CLICK HERE TO ORDER FROM AMAZON

Full-colour covers, 206 pages + 90 black & white photographs

Originally published in 2020, this NEW REVISED & EXPANDED 2021 EDITION features an additional 40+pages, new chapters and 90 black and white photos. It is the most up-to-date source on the highly contentious issue of the Russian Orthodox Church and their position on the Ekaterinburg Remains.

In May 2022, the Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Church, will meet in Moscow during which they will review the findings of the Investigative Commission and deliver their verdict on the authenticity of the Ekaterinburg Remains.

The reopening of the investigation into the death of Nicholas II and his family in 2015, caused a wave of indignation against the Russian Orthodox Church. This book presents the position of both the Moscow Patriarchate and the Investigation Committee.

This is the first English language title to explore the position of the Orthodox Church in Russia with regard to the Ekaterinburg remains. The author’s research for this book is based exclusively on documents from Russian media and archival sources.

This unique title features an expanded introduction by the author, and eight chapters, on such topics as the grounds for the canonization of Nicholas II and his family by the Moscow Patriarchate in 2000; comparative details of the Sokolov investigation in 1919, and the investigations carried out in the 1990s to the present; reluctance of the Moscow Patriarchate to officially recognize the remains as authentic; interesting findings of Russian journalist, producer and screenwriter Elena Chavchavadze in her documentary Regicide. A Century of Investigation; and the author’s own attempt to provide some answers to this ongoing and long drawn-out investigation for example: “Will Alexei and Maria be buried with the rest of their family?” and “Will the Imperial Family remains be reinterred in a new cathedral in Ekaterinburg?”.

This new revised and expanded edition also includes two NEW chapters!

Interviews with Vladimir Soloviev, Chief Major Crimes Investigator for the Central Investigate Department of the Public Prosecution Office of the Russian Federation and Archpriest Oleg Mitrov, a member of the Synodal Commission for the Canonization of Saints – BOTH key players in the Ekaterinburg remains case, reveal the political undertones of this to this ongoing and long drawn-out investigation.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Independent researcher Paul Gilbert has spent more than 25+ years researching and writing about the Russian Imperial Family. His primary research is focused on the life, reign and era of Nicholas II. On 17th July 1998, he attended the tsar’s interment ceremony at the SS Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg. Twenty years later, he attended the Patriarchal Liturgy on the night of 16/17 July 2018, held at the Church on the Blood in Ekaterinburg. Since his first visit to the Urals in 2012, he has brought prayers and flowers to both Ganina Yama and Porosenkov Log on numerous occasions.

© Paul Gilbert. 23 November 2021

Paul Gilbert to close online bookshop

PHOTO: Paul Gilbert in the old ‘Royal Russia Bookshop’. Please note that the books depicted in this photo are no longer available from my online bookshop – PG

At the end of 2020, after 26 years, I closed my publishing business. Aside from my Nicholas II. Emperor. Tsar. Saint. 2022 Calendar, I have not published any new titles and ceased publication of my periodicals Royal Russia and Sovereign, during the past year.

This may be your last chance to additional titles to your personal Romanov collections!

On 27th October of this year, I will mark my 65th birthday, at which time I will permanently retire from bookselling. It is with mixed feelings, that after more than a quarter century of publishing and selling books on the Romanovs, my main online bookshop Paul Gilbert Publisher [for many years known as the Royal Russia Bookshop] will permanently close on 31st December 2021.

I will, however, continue to offer books on my other online bookshop Paul Gilbert Bookseller, which offers new, rare and second-hand titles, in addition to other topics.

At some point within the next few years, I will be moving back to England, where I will take up permanent residence in Northumberland.

As a result, I am forced to sell off the bulk of my personal library, which consists of several thousand titles on Imperial Russian history, the Romanovs, European and British royalty. In addition are richly illustrated pictorials, books on history, art, architecture, biographies among many other topics.

Given the sheer number of books that I still own, it will take me two to three years to scan and list each book. It is a very time consuming task, however, I am now committed to adding up to 50 additional titles to my online catalogue each month.

If you would like to receive updates when my online shop has been updated, please send me an email – royalrussia@yahoo.com – with a request to be added to my mailing list.

New publishing venture on AMAZON

I am pleased to announce that I will continue to research and write books on the life and reign of Emperor Nicholas II [among others], all of which will be published in both paperback and eBook editions, and sold worldwide from AMAZON.

Click HERE to review 4 NEW publishing projects, which I am currently working on

In August of this year, I started to reissue reprints of other books on the Romanovs, which have been out of print for many years, and unavailable to a new generation of Romanovphiles! Below, are links to titles, currently available on AMAZON – with many others planned.

Click HERE to review 4 NEW Romanov Titles added on 31st August 2021

Click HERE to review 5 NEW Romanov Titles added on 16th September 2021

© Paul Gilbert. 7 October 2021

Nicholas II Calendar 2022

LIMITED PRINTING OF ONLY 200 COPIES!

I am pleased to offer copies of my 2022 calendar, dedicated to Emperor, Tsar and Saint Nicholas II, with a limited printing of only 200 copies!

Each month features a full-page black and white photograph of Russia’s last monarch, printed on quality glossy stock.

Nearly 70 major holidays in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Australia and Russia are featured, with room to write in your own special dates and events.

Also featured, are the birth dates of members of Nicholas II, Alexandra Feodorovna, and their five children, as well as important dates in the reign of Russia’s last tsar.

The entire net sales from this calendar assist me with my research, but also with translation costs, the maintenance costs of my web site and news blog, as well as the organization and promotion of events.

The price of each calendar is $10 + postage (rates are noted on the order page, link below). I can ship to any country by Canada Post

NOTE: the postage rates quoted are for SINGLE copies ONLY! If you want to order more than one calendar, then please contact me by email at royalrussia@yahoo.com

Payment can be made securely online with a credit card or PayPal or by personal check, money order or cash – click HERE to download and print a mail order form

Thank you for your support of my research and dedication to clearing the name of Russia’s much slandered tsar

© Paul Gilbert. 4 September 2021

The Truth About St. Tsar Nicholas – an interview with Paul Gilbert

CLICK ON THE IMAGE ABOVE TO WATCH MY INTERVIEW – DURATION: 55 mins.

On the evening of 19th June 2021, I was interviewed on a popular Orthodox YouTube channel, in which I discuss the state of Russia at the time of St. Nicholas, his life and reign, along with refuting some of the common myths which exist to this day.

During this one hour interview, I answer the following questions – among others:

1) Who exactly is St. Tsar Nicholas? What was his personal and spiritual life like?

2) The idea that St. Nicholas was supposedly this inept ruler is the norm even amongst some Orthodox Christians, what kind of a ruler was St. Nicholas and was he actually good at being an emperor?

3) In your article “A Century of Treason, Cowardice and Lies”, you debunk four common myths about St. Nicholas: Him being not prepared for the throne, Russia being a poor and backwards country under him, The Tsar being a drunkard, the people met his death with indifference, implying that they didn’t like him. None of these are true, but they are still popular myths, why is that the case?

4) What do you think is the motivation behind the slander against the Tsar in the modern age. Is it due to academic laziness, or something more nefarious such as a political agenda which aims to denigrate monarchism?

5) Just like St. Nicholas, there’s a lot of divergent views on the person of Rasputin, some people claim he was a degenerate whereas some go as far as to say he was a Saint! What is the correct view on Rasputin?

6) St. Nicholas notoriously states: “All around me there is treachery, cowardice, and deceit.” Why did he say that?

7) What kind of a role did St. Nicholas see himself in relation to the Orthodox Church, that is, what was the ideal relationship between the Church and the State?

In addition, I briefly discuss my faith. I was born and raised in the Anglican Church, and now, after nearly 65 years, I am committed to entering the Russian Orthodox Church. It’s all in God’s hands.

© Paul Gilbert. 21 June 2021

Independent Researcher Paul Gilbert announces 4 NEW publishing projects

Earlier this year, I announced that after more than 26 years as an independent publisher, that I had decided to retire from publishing. Over the course of the past six months, I have been reflecting on four important publishing projects, which remain unpublished. These are works which I began working on as early as 2018.

After careful reconsideration, I have decided to temporarily come out of retirement, in order to bring these four previously planned titles into publication.

Why? Since 2018, I had invested many hours of researching and writing for each respective title to simply abandon them. Each of the four titles falls in line with my personal mission to clear the name of Russia’s much slandered tsar Nicholas II, therefore, it is important for me to see each of these projects come to fruition.

It is my sincere hope, that these new titles will provide a more truthful understanding of the life and reign of Nicholas II, and a welcome alternative to all the negative literature published about his life and reign, particularly since the 1990s.

I have provided a brief summary of each title, including an image of their respective covers.

Please NOTE that at the time of writing this announcement, that I have no timeline for the completion of any of these publications, so for those of you who are interested in any of these titles, I do ask for your patience. It may take a year, it may take two years to complete all four projects. I can assure you, however, that I will publicize each new book as it becomes available, on my blog and Facebook page, as well as via my bi-weekly news updates.

NICHOLAS II. MONUMENTS & MEMORIALS
by Paul Gilbert
ISBN: 978-1-927604-41-0

This richly illustrated title is the first book of its kind to be published on the subject. Nicholas II. Monuments & Memorials explores the nearly 100 monuments, busts and memorials established in Russia, since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Among them is the first bust-monument to the Tsar installed and consecrated on 17th July 1993 – the day marking the 75th anniversary of the murder of Nicholas II – on the grounds of the Feodorovsky Sovereign Cathedral, in Tsarskoye Selo to the most recent, a magnificent equestrian monument installed on the grounds of the Church of the Holy Martyr Michael (Gusev), lin the city of Kulebaki, Nizhny Novgorod region.

In addition, the book explores a series of Triumphal Arches constructed in a number of cities across Siberia, to mark the visit of Tsesarevich Nicholas Alexandrovich (future Emperor Nicholas II), following his Eastern Journey (1890-91); and the memorials to Nicholas II established in Europe following the exodus of White émigrés who fled Bolshevik Russia after October 1917.

This book is a companion volume to Nicholas II. Portraits, published in 2019.

TRAITOR TO THE TSAR!
GRAND DUKE KIRILL VLADIMIROVICH and NICHOLAS II
by Paul Gilbert
ISBN: 978-1-927604-54-0

In June 1917, Grand Duke Kirill was the first Romanov to flee Russia. Not only was his departure “illegal”, as Kirill was still in active duty as a rear admiral in active military service in a country at war, he had abandoned his honour and dignity in the process.

Grand Duke Kirill, was clearly a man who lacked a moral compass. In this book I discuss his entering into an incestuous marriage with his paternal first cousin and a divorcee, Princess Victoria Melita of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1905, defying both Nicholas II by not obtaining his consent prior, and the Russian Orthodox Church.

But it was Kirill’s traitorous act during the February Revolution of 1917, in which he is most famous. It was in Petrograd, that Kirill marched to the Tauride Palace at the head of the Garde Equipage (Marine Guard) to swear allegiance to the Russian Provisional Government, wearing a red band on his uniform. He then authorized the flying of a red flag over his palace on Glinka Street in Petrograd.

In 1922, Kirill declared himself “the guardian of the throne”, and in1924, pompously proclaimed himself “Emperor-in-Exile”. Further, I explore Kirill and Victoria’s alleged Nazi affiliations during their years in exile, as well as Kirill’s shameful infidelity.

This work is the first of its kind to thoroughly examine the treachery of Grand Duke Kirill towards Nicholas II. It is based primarily on documents from Russian archival and media sources, many of which will be new to the English reader.

NICHOLAS II IN POST SOVIET RUSSIA
by Paul Gilbert
ISBN: 978-1-927604-53-3

The image of Nicholas II, whom historians have criticized as an ineffective leader – and who was demonised by Soviet ideology – has been undergoing a renaissance in post-Soviet Russia.

Since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, a series of significant events have taken place which have helped Russia re-evaluate the life and reign of the country’s last emperor Nicholas II.

These include the discovery of his remains in Ekaterinburg in 1991, his interment in St Petersburg 1998, his canonization by the Moscow Patriarchate in 2000, his rehabilitation in 2008, the status of his remains by the ROC, and of the centenary marking his death and martyrdom in 2018.

Among the other topics explored in this book, are the results of polls taken in Russia, whereby the populace have reevaluated their assessment of Nicholas II’s reign in a more popular light. In addition, this book explores the long-held theory that Lenin ordered the murder of the Tsar, as well as Russian president Vladimir Putin’s assessment of Russia’s much slandered Tsar, and the fact that the Russian State Archives still hold documents on the Ekaterinburg regicide, which to this day remain sealed and off limits to researchers.

NICHOLAS II. A CENTURY OF MYTHS AND LIES
by Paul Gilbert
ISBN: 978-1-927604-35-9

For more than a century, many myths and lies about the reign of Nicholas II have endured to the present day. For more than 70 years, the Bolsheviks and later the Soviets were perfectly content to allow these negative myths to stand. The Soviet government’s philosophy to avoid or revolutionize many facts pertaining to Imperial history, including the adoption of extreme censorship, affected what was permitted to be published inside the Soviet Union and thus helped the Bolshevik regime to discredit the last Russian Emperor.

Soviet historians portrayed the Tsar as indecisive, weak-willed, incompetent, and out of touch with the modern world. Their assessment is based on slanderous fabrications, particularly during the early 20th century, which are still deeply rooted in the minds of both Westerners and the Russian people even to this day.  

Sadly, it is these same myths and lies which many modern day historians and biographers cling to in their biographies and studies of Nicholas II. It seems that rather then challenge the old myths by researching new documents in Russian archives, they prefer instead to keep up with popular thought rather than attempt to dispel a legend. This is not the sign of a good historian.

Nicholas II. A Century of Myths and Lies explores 25 of the most popular myths, for example: “that Nicholas II was weak and indecisive” or “that Nicholas II was indifferent to the Khodynka Tragedy” or “that Nicholas II was influenced by Rasputin” or “that Nicholas II was to blame for Bloody Sunday” or “that Nicholas II was wrong in assuming command of the Russian Armed Forces during WWI” or “that Nicholas II’s death was met with indifference by the Russian people” . . . plus, 19 other myths.

© Paul Gilbert. 14 June 2021

The Truth About Nicholas II

In recognition of the 153rd anniversary of the birth of Emperor Nicholas II on 19th (O.S. 6th May) 1868, I am reaching out to friends and supporters for donations to help support me in my research on the life and reign of Nicholas II, and my personal mission to clear the name of Russia’s much slandered Tsar.

There are many web sites, blogs and Facebook pages dedicated to the Romanovs. However, I work very hard searching Russian archival and media sources to bring something new to the table every day. This includes First English translations of articles researched by a new generation of Russian historians; news on the Romanovs, their palaces, exhibitions, etc; + photos, videos and more.

Your donation helps support my work and research, the cost of translations, maintenance of my news blog: Nicholas II. Emperor. Tsar. Saint, and the organization and promotion of Romanov themed events.

If you enjoy all the articles, news, photos, and videos, please help support my work in the coming year ahead by making a donation.

Click HERE to make a donation in US Dollars by CREDIT CARD or PAYPAL

Click HERE to make a donation in Canadian Dollars by GOFUNDME

Click HERE to make a donation in US or Canadian dollars by PERSONAL CHECK

Donations as little as $5 are much appreciated, and there is NO obligation!

Thank you for your consideration.

On this day – 19th (O.S. 6th) May 1868 – Emperor Nicholas II was born in the Alexander Palace at Tsarskoye Selo

с днем рождения ваше имперагорское величество! / Happy Birthday Your Imperial Majesty!

Paul Gilbert. 18 May 2021

Paul Gilbert cuts ties with Russian Imperial House

PHOTO: Maria Vladimirovna and her son George Mikhailovich

NOTE: this article was updated with additional information on 12th February 2021 – PG

For the record, I hereby announce that I am cutting all ties with the Russian Imperial House. I no longer support Maria Vladimirovna and her son George Mikhailovich. Further, I am severing all ties with the Russian Legitimists and their cause.

Today, I have returned by mail the Order of St. Stanislaus 3rd Class (2013), and the Order of St. Anna 3rd Class (2016), and also withdraw my oath of allegiance to Maria and her son, dated and signed 03/14/16.

During the February Revolution of 1917, Maria’s grandfather Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich (1876-1938), marched to the Tauride Palace in Petrograd at the head of the Naval Guards bearing a red armband and swore allegiance to the Russian Provisional Government. In 1926, Kirill proclaimed himself emperor-in-exile, but his claims were contested by a number of grand dukes, grand duchesses, princes and princesses of the Imperial Blood in exile, as well as monarchists in a division that continues to this day.

Many monarchists (including myself) and those faithful to the memory of Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II, believe that Kirill’s act of treason in 1917, should eliminate the Vladimir branch of the Russian Imperial Family from any further consideration.  

I no longer wish to involve myself in the dynastic squabbles which continue to this day between Legitimists and those monarchists who dispute Maria’s claim as Head of the Russian Imperial House.

While I am a devout monarchist, I do not recognize any person as the claimant to the now defunct throne of Russia. I believe that the Russian monarchy ceased to exist upon the abdication of the Sovereign Emperor Nicholas II on 15th (O.S. 2nd) March 1917 and the murder of both the Tsar and his family on 17th July 1918. If the monarchy is ever to be restored in 21st century Russia, it is up to the citizens of Russia to make that decision, no one else.

I will continue to devote my time to researching and writing about the life and reign of Nicholas II, and committing myself to clearing his much slandered name.

© Paul Gilbert. 5 February 2021