A Hessen princess and granddaughter of Queen Victoria, St. Elizabeth married Grand Duke Sergei of Russia in 1884. Always a faithful person, she studied Orthodoxy by her own request and after a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, converted and was received into the Russian Orthodox Church. When her husband was killed by a bomb set by revolutionaries in 1905 she grieved, but was also concerned for the spiritual welfare of the man who committed the act, visiting him in prison, forgiving him, and asking him to repent for the sake of his soul.
St. Elizabeth then dedicated her life to God by becoming a nun, later founding a convent and hospital. She was greatly beloved of the people of Moscow. After the Communists came to power, St. Elizabeth was removed from her convent with her cell attendant, the Nun Barbara, imprisoned in Yekaterinburg, and then in Alapaevsk. On July 5/18, SS Elizabeth and Barbara were thrown down an abandoned mine shaft with other members of the Russian nobility, dying a painful death singing hymns to God. She is buried in Gethsemane at St. Mary Magdalene’s Convent near Jerusalem.