The life of a princess isn’t all glamour, handsome princes, and beautiful clothes. It’s also devotion to duty, sacrifice for your people, and a lot of just plain hard work. And if your country happens to suffer two world wars and a communist takeover in your lifetime, it means danger and suffering, exile and heartache as well.
Princess Ileana of Romania endured all this and more. But her deeply rooted Orthodox faith saw her through it all, and eventually led her in her later years to the peaceful repose of monasticism. But that life included sacrifice and hard work as well, because as Mother Alexandra she was called to build the first English-language Orthodox women’s monastery in the United States—the Monastery of the Transfiguration in Ellwood City, Pennsylvania.
Princess Ileana’s story is a thrilling tale of love and loss, danger and rescue, sacrifice and reward. Her inspiring life stands as a beacon of faith and holiness for young women of all times and nations to follow.
"We are deeply grateful to Bev Cooke for her
extensive research coupled with her storytelling ability that
makes the life of Mother Alexandra—Royal
Monastic—a comprehensive and
enjoyable read for any age. We are sure that readers will learn
to appreciate the woman who lived on three continents during the
most troubled time in modern history—a
woman who in some ways could identify with everyone she met, yet
in other ways with no one on earth."
"Royal Monastic is an excellent and engaging
historical biography of a truly remarkable princess turned
monastic. As the founder of Holy Transfiguration Monastery in
Elwood City, Pennsylvania, Mother Alexandra, Princess Ileana of
Romania, is an example of Orthodox Christian virtues of love,
suffering and self-sacrifice."
"Royal Monastic is a portal into a small and
vital corner of Eastern European life during that time of great
struggle. Princess Ileana's commitment to Orthodox monasticism
in the latter part of her life, as Mother Alexandra, has left
the royal seed of Orthodox altruism planted on American soil,
leaving a lasting and growing vine of Truth. This is a history
well worth reading."
"Here is a book that makes sanctity
believable as well as attractive. At the end of the book, we
feel that we truly know the saintly protagonist, and wish that
we could get to know her even better. Although we cannot meet
this remarkable woman on earth, we can rely on her heavenly
prayers, and rejoice in her life, thanks to this wonderful new
"This engaging biography of a remarkable
woman will suit anyone with an interest in people and history,
but the figure of Ileana, princess, social activist and much
more makes a particularly appealing role model for girls and
young women in the 21st Century. While Disney sometimes labours
to make its animated princess heroines appear as independent,
powerful young women, Ileana of Romania is the real thing."
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bev. Cooke is the author of Keeper of the Light (Conciliar Press, 2006) and Feral (Orca Book Publishers, 2008). She lives in Victoria, British Columbia. Learn more about Bev. and her work at http://www.bevcooke.ca.