The tragic story of the last Russian imperial family remains one of the most grievous chapters of the Russian history of the 20th century. The Bolsheviks murdered Nicholas II, his wife Alexandra Fyodorovna, their four daughters, eldest of 22 and youngest of 17, and their 13-year-old son in 1918. Innocent victims, they were canonized as passion bearers in 2000.
During Soviet rule, no one could openly condemn the murder of the imperial family, as such statements could have been considered counter-revolutionary. That is why for decades the Romanov family remained a mystery to the public. It was only after the collapse of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) that it was finally possible to learn what the Romanovs were actually like.
One of the most important testimonies in this respect is the diary of Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna, born Alix of Hesse. Raised in England by her grandmother Queen Victoria, at the age of 22 she married Nicholas, the heir to the Russian throne. The two were married for almost 24 years and her diaries, as well as correspondence with husband who was frequently away from home due to his responsibilities as Emperor, show the devoted and tender love they managed to preserve throughout the years.
Empress Alexandra writes about various things in her diary: the nature of love, family life, relationship problems, a woman’s role as the wife and mother, raising children—all viewed in the light of Christian values and virtue. She demonstrates humbleness and at the same time strength and genuine concern for the salvation of the soul, benevolence, and devoted willingness to serve her neighbors in the name of Christ.
Writings of the Empress show how to be strong in enduring everyday hardship, how to stay devoted, how to resist temptations, and be good to your neighbor. Her spiritual diary is an inspiration and encouragement to everyone who wants to be a good Christian. Her reflections on the nature of Christianity and her explanation of how Christianity is the religion of joy, in spite of being a religion of self-sacrifice at the same time, are very valuable and help find a way to a fuller, more active, enjoyable, and beneficial life.