In 1884, Grand Prince Constantine Constantinovich Romanov wrote a poem devoted to St. Elizabeth.
I look at you and enjoy it ever
You are so beautiful, no words can tell!
Oh! I am sure that such beauty hosts
A soul that is wonderful as well.
The depth of modesty and quiet sorrow
Is in your eyes of beauty so pure
You are as calm and quiet as an angel;
And as a lady, gentle and demure.
Amidst the many earthly sins and evils
Let nothing blur the pure soul of thine,
And let us all sing praises to Creator
Who gave such beauty to a soul divine!
It is part of human nature for individuals to search out exemplary people in history that serve as spiritual mentors. The individual Ariane is inspired by is Saint Elizabeth. She was sister to Tsarina Alexandra of the last Russian Royal family.
On February 4, 1905, her husband was murdered. Subsequently, she donated all her wealth, even her wedding ring, to found the Monastery of Mary and Martha in Moscow. She hoped her work might help revive the ancient institution of deaconess: women ordained to carry on merciful service toward humankind.
She began her work with the Sisters of Love and Mercy at the Monastery on February 10, 1909. She is known to have said, “I am leaving the brilliant world where I occupied a high position, and now, together with all of you [my sisters], I am about to ascend into a much greater world of the poor and afflicted.”
After spreading much love and helping many people, including countless children, on July 19, 1918, Mother Elizabeth, her nun Barbara and other innocent victims were thrown alive down an old mine shaft 60 meters deep by Communists. A local villager who witnessed what happened said he could hear voices in the shaft singing the “Cherubic Hymn” from the Holy Liturgy. The executioners threw in one hand grenade, then another, until there was silence. Her remains where removed and ultimately taken to Jerusalem. They lie there today in The Church of St. Mary of Magdalene on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.
Saint Elizabeth The New Martyr (1864-1918) Russian Orthodox Saint Oil on Canvas by Ariane Trifunovic Montemuro