Sretensky Monastery: Church of the New Martyrs & Confessors

Clan Dillingham at Church of the New Martyrs and Confessors of the Russian Orthodox Church with Aleksandr and his boys.

Sretenksy Monastery was founded in 1397 by Grand Prince Vasili I. This large gold-domed cathedral is Church of the New Martyrs and Confessors, featuring icons of Orthodox Christians who suffered under or died as a consequence of Bolshevism, such as St. Hilarion Troitsky, whose full body was in repose there.

This particular building was completed in 2017 to mark 100 years since the October Revolution, when Bolsheviks began their godless attacks against the Orthodox Church. The monastery is in an area called Lubyanka, which was known for its infamous Soviet prison. It was said that if you went to Lubyanka, you would never be seen or heard from again.

Cross to the New Martyrs.

Close up of some of the exterior architectural detail.

Look at that huge Orthodox cross relief-sculpted into the side of the church. How gorgeous is that?

New martyrs and confessors surround the inner dome.

Icon of the Russian imperial family, the Romanovs. Tsar Nicholas II, his wife Tsarina Alexandra, their five children (Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia, and Alexei), and four servants (who chose to accompany them into imprisonment in Yekaterinburg) were shot and bayoneted to death by Bolsheviks in July 1918. There was great debate as to whether they were “martyrs” (people who are killed explicitly for their faith). But in 2000, the Moscow Patriarchate ultimately canonized the family as “passion bearers”: pious Christians who face death with resignation, in a Christ-like manner.

Another view of the dome where you can see the Romanovs among the new martyrs and confessors.

Icon of the Optina Elders.

St. Aleksandr Nevsky, 12th-century Christian who served as Prince of Novgorod, Grand Prince of Kiev, and Grand Prince of Vladimir during some of the most difficult times in Kievan Rus’ history.

A small chapel located above the large cathedral. A nice security guard let us check it out.

Sretensky Theological Seminary is within the monastery grounds.

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