The Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia has canonized Russian national Alexander Schmorell, a native of Orenburg, who was executed by the Nazi regime in 1943 for organizing an anti-fascist student group called the White Rose, the Church Bulletin publication reported.
The ceremony to glorify St. Alexander of Munich, who was 25 yeas old when he died, ended in Germany this past weekend. He became the first new martyr glorified after canonical communion between the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) was restored in 2007 following 80 years of separation.
ROCOR separated from ROC in 1927 because its members deemed that ROC leadership’s loyalty to the Bolshevik state was inappropriate.
The canonization took place in Munich’s Cathedral of Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia and was led by Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany.
A procession with crosses and icons was held on Saturday in Munich to mark the canonization, the head of an Orenburg charity said. The procession was followed by a memorial service at Schmorell’s grave.
Schmorell, born in 1917, was the son of a German who moved to Russia in the 19th century. His mother was the daughter of an Orthodox Christian priest. In 1921 the family decided to return to Germany and moved to Munich, where Schmorell became a parishioner of a Russian Orthodox church.
After returning from the front in 1942 following years of service in the German army as a military doctor, Schmorell organized, together with his colleagues Hans and Sophie Scholl and Christophe Probst, the White Rose movement and started distributing anti-Hitler leaflets. They were guillotined the following year.