MEMORIAL EVENT IN VIENNA
In July, the month that has already become traditional in national memory as the days of commemoration of the murdered Emperor Nicholas II and his family, it is necessary to remember the person who devoted many years of her life to preserving the memory of the House of Romanovs, the last Russian Emperors Alexander III and his son Emperor Nicholas II – about Olga Nikolaevna Kulikovskaya - Romanova.
"On June 9 in Vienna in St. Nicholas Cathedral on the fortieth day was held the funeral service for the deceased on May 1 of this year Olga Nikolaevna Kulikovskaya-Romanova.
Until May 15, all churches in Vienna were closed due to the Coronovirus epidemic, and only from the second half of May the Austrian authorities allowed church services to be held, limiting the number of people participating in divine services.
Together with the priest and the choir, no more than 20 people were allowed to participate, so invitations to the memorial service were sent only to a few representatives of the Russian and Austrian nobility and the highest aristocracy, as well as the Austrians who knew Olga Nikolaevna personally.
The funeral service was conducted by the priest of St. Nicholas Cathedral Father Vyacheslav (Shibanov), the choir was led by Regent Tatiana Shcherba. On the canon and around it two icons of the most Holy mother of God and the icon of the Royal Passion-Bearers had candles on fire. The service was amazing, bright and soothing.
From the first minutes, those present felt that the pain and bitterness of loss began to fade away gradually; there was a sense of peace and tranquility, which, of course, largely contributed to the simple angelic singing of the choir.
When the funeral service ended, Princess Yablonovskaya (Dr. Elizabeth Heresh) invited those present to her salon for buffet to remember Olga Nikolaevna. The reception was held at her house, which once belonged to the Duchess Elizabeth, granddaughter of Emperor Franz Joseph.
When all the guests gathered, the salon owner Elizabeth Heresh addressed them with the following words: "Dear guests, first of all, I want to thank you for coming together to remember our dear Olga Nikolaevna Kulikovskaya-Romanova, a member of the Tsarist family, an amazing and great person.
I was fortunate to meet Olga Nikolaevna in 2014, when she came to Austria to participate in the mourning events held by Princess Anita von Hohenberg, great-granddaughter of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, on the 100th anniversary of his murder in Sarajevo. Despite her respectable age and the difficulties of such journey, Olga Nikolaevna found it possible to come here to honor the memory of the heir to the Austrian throne, as well as, as the sign of reconciliation between the two royal houses. Had it not been for the murder of Crown Prince Franz Ferdinand, there would never have been a war with Russia.
As you, friends and admirers of Olga Nikolaevna, are well known, she was tirelessly engaged in charity activities in Russia and personally visited various regions of this huge country. Assistance provided by the Her Imperial Highness the Great Princess Olga Alexandrovna's Charity Foundation was worth millions of dollars.
Until very recently, Olga Nikolaevna arranged exhibitions of paintings by her mother-in-law the Great Princess Olga Alexandrovna, the last such exhibition was held in January - February of this year in Belgorod. Olga Nikolaevna actively participated in the discussion of the identification of the Tsarist remains.
Olga Nikolaevna has made a significant contribution to changing false views about the personality of Emperor Nicholas II and about his governing of the country. Olga Nikolaevna contributed greatly to the unification of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad with the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate.
Olga Nikolaevna, with her wide soul and inner beauty, is for us personification of Russia and, above all, the Imperial Russia, which we love and respect so much, and we are proud that we were lucky to know Olga Nikolaevna!
Then the word was given to Mamaev Pavel Pavlovich, who knew Olga Nikolaevna well:
"Today are 40 days since Olga Nikolaevna is not with us. Gradually comes the understanding of this great loss for Russia, the understanding of the greatness and importance of her deeds and achievements.
First of all, it is the union of the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, which was greatly facilitated by Olga Nikolaevna. This is also her contribution to the glorification of the Royal Passion Bearers in Russia. This is her active participation in the discussion of issues related to the identification of the Tsarist remains, and her readiness to provide the Russian Orthodox Church commission with a sample of blood of her husband Tikhon Nikolaevich, which he specifically bequeathed for this purpose. This is her activity in the framework of the Her Imperial Highness the Great Princess Olga Alexandrovna's Charity Foundation, and, of course, these are exhibitions of paintings by her Purple-born Mother-in-law, the younger sister of Emperor Nicholas II Aleksandrovich and, accordingly, the younger daughter of Emperor Alexander III Aleksandrovich, her wonderful landscapes with watercolors and portraits of her children with oil and watercolor.
At these exhibitions, Olga Nikolaevna spoke to visitors every day, telling about the Great Princess, about her life in Russia and later in Denmark, about the Tsar's family. And the audience discovered both the Emperor Sovereign and his family, and they became their own, understandable and dear to them. This is also the enduring importance of Olga Nikolayevna's work, who managed so easily and convincingly to show what the whole Tsarist family was, the closest member of which in our time she was by nature.
Alas, this is the only thread that connected us to the family of Emperors Alexander III and Nicholas II no longer exists…
God! Lay to rest the soul of your deceased servant, “bolyaryna” Olga»!
Then Prince Franz Yablonovsky, wife of Elizabeth Heresh, sang the anthem of the Russian Empire "God Save the Tsar", after which guests began to share their memories of Olga Nikolaevna.
In particular, they talked about Olga Nikolaevna's visit to the mourning events dedicated to the centenary of the murder of Franz Ferdinand, Crown Prince of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and his wife Sophie Hotek in Sarajevo. These events were held on 28 June 2014 at the Castle of Franz-Ferdinand in Artstetten near Vienna. Olga Nikolaevna then laid a wreath of white roses at the Franz Ferdinand sarcophagus and made a speech to owners of the castle.
Olga Nikolaevna with Prince Franz von Hohenberg in the burial vault of the Hohenberg family. Artstetten, June 28, 2014
More than 3,000 distinguished guests from all over Europe, including representatives of the sovereign and ruling houses, arrived at the mourning events. Austria was represented by His Imperial and Royal Highness Crown Prince Ferdinand.
His Imperial Highness kisses the hand of Olga Nikolaevna at a reception at Artstetten Castle; Olga Nikolaevna talks to the Serene Princess Anita von Hohenberg, His Imperial and Royal Highness Crown Prince Ferdinand and head of the House of Hohenberg, Duke Georg von Hohenberg
As a member of Tsarist family of the Russian Emperor, Olga Nikolaevna received public attention, and her visit to Artstetten was seen as a sign of reconciliation between the House of Romanoff and the House of Habsburg.
Father Vyacheslav shared his impressions of the meeting with Olga Nikolaevna, which took place in early July 2014 at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Vienna:
"The day did not portend anything unusual. It was my turn to serve a prayer with the reading Akathist of the Iversky icon of the Mother of God.
As always, in spite of the working day, many people gathered for this service.
The Iversky icon is a very revered icon in our temple.
It was written on Athos, at the Iversky Monastery and consecrated there on a miracle-working icon. For her a large floor kiot was made in Russia according to a special project.
To the right of it, on the lectern there is always an icon of the Great Martyr Great Princess Elizabeth.
According to the legend, she died pressing to the chest the Iversky icon. The service ended, and unexpectedly for me: it turned out that the Great Princess Olga Nikolaevna Kulikovskaya - Romanova was present at Akathist. I remember how I was immediately struck by the thought of the providence of this. The Great Princess and the Great Martyr, the organizer of the Cloister of Mercy, and the Great Princess - the organizer of the unity of the Russian Church.
As if the Mother of God herself arranged this meeting of two great women in the temple, where everything, from the appearance of the temple itself on Austrian soil, to its arrangement, is associated with the Romanovs family. I remember how then I was struck by the whole appearance of this woman, her majesty and at the same time human simplicity, a strict and at the same time very warm sincere look, this very beautiful, real, almost forgotten at home, in Russia, Russian language.
I am grateful to God for this meeting, for the memory of that Russia, which I did not find”.
In conclusion, an interesting message at this reception was made by P.P. Mamaev:
“In 2015, on the Tsar's days in Yekaterinburg, on the night of July 16-17, at the service in the Church-on-the-Blood, Olga Nikolaevna, together with the persons accompanying her, stood on a narrow platform in the middle of the front staircase, on which, in fact, the service was held.
Immediately after communion, a group of 7-8 Japanese people approached Olga Nikolaevna, in national clothes, barefoot, their heads shaved. It turned out that these are the descendants of the prince, on whose land in 1891 the attack on Tsesarevich Nikolai Aleksandrovich took place, as well as the descendants of the man who attacked hum.
These Japanese have passed barefoot all the way, which was done in Japan Tsesarevich Nikolai Aleksandrovich, as a sign of repentance for what had done in 1891. They came to Yekaterinburg to ask for forgiveness from Olga Nikolaevna as the only and legitimate representative of the great Tsarist family of Emperor Alexander III and Emperor Nicholas II Aleksandrovich. After the interpreter explained all this to Olga Nikolaevna, the Japanese bowed to her in a deep bow. Olga Nikolaevna approached them and said something in Japanese. The forgiveness was accepted. Repentance was brought almost 130 years later.
And in 2018, on the centenary of the terrible murder of the Sovereign Emperor, the Anointed of God, and the entire royal family in the same place in the Church -on - the Blood during the service, which was attended by some of the guests who are here, we expected a call from the Patriarch to pray for forgiveness, but, alas, we have not heard such a call to repentance... These are the two stories”.
The memorial service for Olga Nikolaevna and the subsequent buffet reception were organized by the representative of the "Orthodox Mission for the revival of spiritual values of the Russian people" in Austria P.P. Mamaev and Dr. Elizabeth Heresh - historiographer of the House of Romanov.
The present report was prepared by P.P. Mamaev.
PS. And it is probably no coincidence that the commemoration of Olga Nikolaevna's blessed memory took place on the fortieth day in Vienna, in that Cathedral which was founded by the Emperor Alexander III and consecrated by the Emperor Nicholas II.
Representatives of the Imperial family Tikhon Nikolaevich Kulikovsky-Romanov, nephew of the last Russian Emperor Nicholas II an his wife Olga Nikolaevna Kulikovskaya-Romanova, Chairman of Her Imperial Highness the Great Princess Olga Alexandrovna's Charity Foundation.