Saint Seraphim-Diveyevo Monastery

The study of the Monastery of strict charter, based on the example of Athos. Analysis of the base of the community of St. Alexander of Kazan. The monastery in the late XIX - early XX century. Seraphim-Diveevo Monastery today. About St. Seraphim of Sarov.

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«Saint Seraphim-Diveyevo monastery»

Galkina T.K.

Serafimo-Diveevsky Monastery, or Saint Seraphim-Diveyevo Monastery, or Holy Trinity-Saint Seraphim-Diveyevo Monastery (Russian: Свято-Троицкий Серафимо-Дивеевский Монастырь) is a monastery of nuns (convent) in Diveyevosettlement near Sarov (12 km), and near the city of Nizhny Novgorod (185 km), in the Nizhny Novgorod Oblast, Russia.[1] It is situated in a region considered to have immense spiritual significance. Within its immediate vicinity are situated two othercloisters: those of Sarov and Sanaxar. The relics of the Great Russian saint Seraphim Sarovsky lie here. He is one of the few saints who attained the very highest level of spiritual perfection by the ascetic acts of living as a hermit spending hours in meditation on a column, taking vows of silence seclusion.

Ground Fourth Shire Virgin

Diveevskaya earth - a special holy land, which the Queen of Heaven in the last quarter took their inheritance.

On the first three lots for the Mother of God in the universe known as follows. First - Iberia - dropped the Virgin, the apostles threw lots who go to any country to preach the Gospel. But which was the angel announced to her that Iberia enlightened afterwards. When the Mother of God went to the island of Cyprus to visit St. Lazarus, the resurrected Lord, a strong wind rose. Storm the ship was assigned to the shores of Mount Athos, inhabited by pagans. Virgin Mary, seeing it as an indication of God's will to die is given to her on the ground, came ashore and told the Gentiles the gospel teachings. Having created a lot of miracles, she sailed to Cyprus. Mount Athos - the second lot of Our Lady on the ground.

In the XI century in one of the Athos monasteries labored monk Antony, a native of the province of Chernigov. Mother of God opened the abbot of the monastery, which novopostrizhennomu Anthony should go to his home, in Russia, and obedient Anthony, reaching Kiev, founded the Kiev-Pechersk Monastery - the third lot the Mother of God on earth.

Start a Part of Our Lady of the Fourth Ecumenical was laid here in Kiev. Around 1758 he arrived in Kiev rich Ryazan landowner Agafya Semenovna Melgunov. In the early years (under 30 years), she lost her husband and decided to devote his life to God. In Kiev-Florovsky Monastery she took monastic vows with the name of Alexandra and spent her life in fasting and prayer under the guidance of the elders of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra.

One day after a long prayer vigil for the midnight, being either in a light slumber, or a clear vision vouchsafed to see the mother of Alexander the Blessed Virgin Mary and heard her as follows: "It is - I'm your lady and Mistress, who you always pray. I have come to make you my will. Not here, I want to make you graduated from his life. But as I have my servant Anthony brought from Mount Athos a Part of My holy hill My, that he is here, in Kiev, founded a new my lot, Lavra Kiev-Pechersk, so you now Verbs: Come out of here and go to the land that I will show you. Go to the north of Russia and bypasses all Great-place sacred monasteries mine. And it will be a place where I will show you finish your godly life, and I will praise my name out there, because I'm your place of residence osnuyu great my abode. Go, My servant, in a way, and the grace of God, and my strength, and my grace and my mercy, and my bounty - that they may be with you!"

With the blessing of the elders, Kiev-Pechersk Lavra to recognize the vision of true mother of Alexandra went on pilgrimages to Russia. The way it was in 1760 one of the most famous Russian monastery - the monastery of Sarov. He was deep in dense forests on a high hill at the confluence of two small rivers - and Sarovki Satisa. The place was extremely beautiful, and long before the arrival of the end of XVII century, the founder of the monastery of St. John Hieroschemamonk heard here people from nearby villages like from the ground bells and saw wondrous glow, like a pillar of light that points to the future the sanctity of the place.

Convent of the austere charter arranged by the example of Mount Athos. Caves dug into the mountain, was the first place to a feat of Sarov hermits, ascetics. Thousands of pilgrims came here - to join the grace of the holy place, to ask for advice and blessing of the wise and Spirit-bearing elders.

Not reaching 12 miles to Sarov, in the village of Diveevo mother of Alexander stopped to rest at the western wall of the wooden parish church. Here she is in a light slumber again saw the Mother of God. "This is the place that I have commanded you to search in the north of Russia ... - said the Blessed Virgin Mother Alexandra. - And here is the limit that Divine Providence put to you live here and to please the Lord God to the end of your days. And I'll always be with you, and I will always go to this place, and in the limit of your residence here so I osnuyu my abode, which was not equal, and there never will be all over the world. This is my fourth lot in the universe. And the stars of heaven and as the sand of the sea multiply here I am serving God and Ever-Virgin me, Mother of Light, and My Son Jesus Christ magnify; and the grace of the Holy Spirit of God, and an abundance of all good things earthly and heavenly, with little human labor, do not they shall turn away from this place of my lover. "

On the advice of the elders of Sarov Alexander's mother settled in a village near the Diveevo Osinovka. After the death of his only daughter, she sold all their possessions, and finally moved to Diveevo. At first she prospered in Diveevo old wooden church. In 1773-1780 years of her zeal it was built of stone Kazan church with chapels of St. Nicholas the First-and Archdeacon Stephen. Like everything else in Diveevo, the first church was built a new monastery with the blessing of Mother Alexandra Queen of Heaven.

The base of the community of St. Alexander Kazan

At the end of the life of the mother of Alexander began to organize the community to be the Mother of God to fulfill indication. In 1788, a local landowner, Ms. Zhdanova, heard about the monastery, promised more than the mother of Alexander, donated her 1300 sq. fathoms (poldesyatiny) his homestead land. Reverend Alexander built on the land of three cells with a common wall. One took herself invited to live in another three novices, and the third provided for pilgrims going to Sarov. Once upon a community of strict statute of Sarov. Mentor Sarov elder sisters was Pachomius. Food was brought in once a day with a meal Sarov. The sisters sewed, knitted for Sarov brethren were avaricious life, in work and prayer.

In 1789, my mother was ill and her desire was tonsured into the schema. A few days later it visited Sarov builder monk Pachomius the treasurer hieromonk Isaiah and deacon Seraphim Diveevo were in passing. After receiving notice from the Lord's imminent demise, she begged the fathers-ascetics of the monastery popeschis, promised her the Queen of Heaven. Referring to his advanced age, the builder Pachomius pointed it at a young deacon Seraphim, known for its spirituality. Mother

Alexandra asked Father Seraphim to take care of the monastery itself as the Queen of Heaven, if you please instruct him on what.

Reverend Alexander departed to the Lord on 13/26 June 1789, leaving the sisters in the care of the elders of the Sarov monastery. On the day of her funeral was a torrential rain that on anyone does not remain a dry thread, but Seraphim of their chastity did not agree even dine at the monastery and immediately after the burial left foot in Sarov. Since then he has never been more in Diveevo monastery did not happen.

The base Mill community

In 1793, Father Seraphim was ordained to the priesthood. Soon after the death of Elder Pachomius, who gave Father Seraphim Diveevsk care of the monastery, the ascetic went in Sarov forest.

... Dense centuries-old pine forest surrounding the monastery served as a special place for the Heavens feat that lasted 30 years. Here, the "angel had lived" in the Saint does not interrupted before God day and night in prayer ... After pustynnozhitelstva, innocent suffering, pillar-dwelling (the prayer on the rock), and the shutter molchalnichestvo, Venerable in 1825 with the blessing of the Queen of Heaven came to the service of the people . Together with the instruction and comfort became pour abundant flow of healing, amazing predictions and insights. Many pilgrims from all over flocked to the Russian Orthodox forest cell Elder, asking for edification, spiritual instruction. How bright candle was placed at the end of the holy man on the spiritual life of his candlestick Sarov. "My joy, Christ is risen!" - So met the Reverend all come to him.

Kazan community founded by Mother Alexandra, by this time had grown: the number of nurses it has reached 50 people.

Strict regulations, bread and cheese, taken once a day, hard work and hourly prayer rule was beyond the power of many of the admitted to the monastery of sisters (host and maidens, and wives, and widows). Father Seraphim asked Ksenya Kocheulovu, the then boss, mitigate the severity of the statute, but she did not agree.

Soon Sarov forest was the priest vision of the Queen of Heaven, which gave him the command of the base in a maiden special Diveevo obschinki. The notes NA Motovilov stated the following: "When in 1825 November 25 (v. V.), On the day of saints Clement, Pope of Rome and Peter of Alexandria, making his way through the thicket of custom woods along the river Sarovki to his distant hermitage, he saw the Mother of God ... ... and on and on the hill behind her two apostles: Peter the Apostle and High John the Evangelist. And the Mother of God, striking the earth with the rod so that iskipel from the ground source water fountain light, said to him: "Why do you want to leave the commandment of my slaves Agathius - nun Alexandra? .. Potschis completely fulfill her, because as I will give it to you as the judges. And I will show you another place, too, in the village of Diveevo, and it promised me Arrange the abode of mine. " And the Mother of God told the priest to create a special maiden community, taking the same obschinki eight sisters named for, and pointed to a place east of Diveevo, against the altar of the church of the Kazan phenomenon of his. And is listed as a place to enclose the ditch and rampart; and now, eight sisters ordered him to start a monastery plain, its fourth universal lots, for which ordered the first of Sarov forests cut down dvuhpostavnuyu windmill and cells first, and then, over time, build the Nativity of her and her son only begotten dvuhprestolnuyu Church for this monastery, attaching it to the porch of the Church of the Kazan phenomenon of his. And she gave him for this new monastery charter anywhere up to that time in any of the monastery did not exist. And for the indispensable rule set commandment into this abode did not dare to be admitted no widow, and always would be taken only one girl on reception who herself she expresses his favor, and promised herself to be invariable abbot of this monastery his, pouring it all His mercy and all the graces of God's blessings on all their previous Zhrebiev: Iberia, Athos and Kiev. "

9/22 December 1826 the mill was laid on the ground, said Ven. Seraphim Queen of Heaven. "The Conception of St. Anna and I want to conceive a monastery!"

Solemnly declared that day Elder. New obschinka was called the Mill. The sisters were to lead a strict life and spiritual feats except to engage in physical labor. "Obedience is more than the fasting and prayer" - often repeated to them Father. "Do not be troubled and do not be upset, - he told Monk - small supplication, or inability to fulfill all monasticism put on really far too busy trying to just definitely and even on the move, never interrupting mental prayer, to read in the morning, at midday and at night given to them praviltse, so, if possible, all the provisions of the general rule, and if you can not, then the Lord will help! But 200 bowing Savior and the Mother of God, as it may be, is required to fulfill. " More punished "pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks the Lord and always be awake and to be happy, so never allow the spirit of despondency." Not exhausting yourself now prohibitive feats of fasting according to ancient customs, Father ordered the sisters to be well-fed and plenty to eat, but would not give up. "I, your father, Popek of you in this world and in the future, and who in my desert will live, all will not leave, and your generations are not left to be - he said mill sisters, and took care of them in every physical and spiritual needs. - ... Who would even help my abode and those of flour will be spared.

After prep. Queen of Heaven Seraphim Diveevo monastery was given the following rules.

In order to eternally unquenchable burning candle in front of a local icon of the Savior at the top of the Church of the Nativity, and eternally - the inextinguishable lamp at the temple icon of the Nativity of Our Lady of the Nativity of the Virgin in the lower church.

The same lower Church of the Nativity, which is always Father called a tomb relics, predicting that the four relics will be opened to rest in it, bequeathed in perpetuity read day and night incessantly Psalms for the Dead, since the king's birth, the hierarchs of the Orthodox Church, benefactors of the monastery and ending all begging prayers for himself and dreamed of his, saying that it will always feed the monastery. Also bequeathed in perpetuity neopustitelno on Sundays to serve the Liturgy chapel of Our Lady, the whole in a singsong voice, the notes, both canon alternately in Sarov. "If it is executed, no trouble abode not overtake, unless they do, the Queen of Heaven will punish without trouble trouble nazhivutsya" - strictly commanded many times saint of God.

Living in Mill obschinke resembled the Apostolic times the unity of the spirit of love for Christ, the Queen of Heaven and the priest Seraphim, mutual love between the sisters. It was common, but were poor and poorly fed.

After the death of father Seraphim Mill maiden abode alone lasted only ten years. The peaceful life of the sisters of the two communities - the Mill and Kazan - willfully interfere Sarov became a novice Ivan Tikhon (later the monk Joasaph). Father Seraphim in his lifetime he forbade it, but the ambitious novice in dreams saw himself as guardian and confessor of the monastery. In 1842, Ivan Tikhon procured a decree to merge the two communities. He tried to turn to his sisters, to distract them from the grand old man of the covenant. He was able to seal the Christmas temples and break all the commandments of the Queen of Heaven. 29 years of continued unrest, which resulted in poverty and debt: the monastery had nothing even knead bread, and most importantly - spiritual life went wrong.

Smoot was completed after the personal intervention of the Emperor and the Holy Synod in 1862, when the community was built in the monastery and was appointed Abbess Maria (Elizabeth Alekseevna Ushakov).

The validity of the Lot in the Fourth Mother of God has been restored thanks to the participation of the grace of God's saints, like St. Filaret (Drozdov), Metropolitan of Moscow, St. Theophane (saying), Recluse Vyshenskii, Ven. Anthony (Medvedev), the governor of Trinity-Sergius Lavra, Archbishop Anthony of Voronezh (Smirnitsky) and others.

The life of a monastery in the late XIX - early XX century

Over the years, management of the monastery abbess Maria (Ushakova) from 1862 to 1904. abode mostly acquired its unique architectural appearance, preserved to this day. Were built predicted prep. Seraphim Trinity Cathedral (consecrated in 1875), the abbot's case (1885) with the church of St. ravnoap. Mary Magdalene (1901), the refectory church of St. blgv. Prince Alexander Nevsky (1895), Bell Tower (completed in 1902), and about 30 buildings for housing obedience and sisters. The main income of the monastery brought numerous workshops: handmade, which was embroidered in gold and silk and embroidery on Batista and linens, beautiful, lithographic, which is also engaged in photography and metahromotipiey (translated engraved paintings on tin, wood and stone), threaded metal and binding business.

The monastery needs provided meat, prosfornoe, candle, tailors, riznoe, manateynoe obedience (manateya - thin homespun wool). In svitochnom sewed scrolls (shirt) for Sarov brethren, to 400 units annually. Many buildings occupied household obedience: glasswork, dyeing and Painting, Cellars, Garden, yard, mill. The monastery was a large orchard. There was a threshing case and two barns. The meal prosfornyu and almshouse was carried water from the pumping station, which supplies the required amount of water the whole monastery and two baths. At the main gate of the monastery were built icons and grocers and guardhouse.

In some cases placed hospice for the seriously ill and elderly sisters, dentist's office and the hospital. The monastery was set up a shelter for girls, mostly orphans, where they were taught to the priests, and needlework, and taught spiritual singing nuns. monastery charter community

Outside the fence the monastery belonged to the hotel (for the nobility and the common people), stables with the necessary buildings: a forge and two huts for the workers, as well as five houses for the priests and deacons, with farm buildings and gardens. The monastery had three full-time priest and one deacon.

The choir sisters were numerous. Singing has been brought to a high degree of perfection, and all the services, even on weekdays, went reverently and solemnly.

By the early twentieth century Seraphim-Diveevo monastery became the largest monastic dormitory. "This is not a monastery, but a whole region, nestled on three miles," - said about him Bishop of Nizhny Novgorod Ioanniky. Only the wellappointed, well-functioning economy allowed the monastery to keep in order.

In those years, who came to Diveevo have seen and heard that Diveevskaya sisters lived and breathed the father Seraphim. "My father said!" - Constantly heard in their conversation. SA Nilus wrote about the monastery in 1900: "The shrine - a whole Diveev and all his holy love that breaks, swing from every corner of this amazing place, from every cell, every kind word from both the abbess, so and I have seen all the sisters. "

After the death of Abbess Mary in 1904 at the direction of the sisters was chosen treasurer Abbess nun Alexandra (Trakovskaya) remained abbess of the monastery before its closure. In 1917, he lived in a monastery on the list of 270 nuns and novices in 1474, while the population with. Diveevo was only 520 people. In 1919, the monastery was transformed into a labor gang, but the churches were not closed, the service continued. All land, farms, farm - it was withdrawn. The sisters had to carry compulsory labor: work on nationalized land in exchange for rations.

But despite the difficulties of life, to the abode of the acceleration in 1927 he was a major pilgrimage center and took thousands of people dragged into these difficult years to shrines Diveevo.

Monastery of the acceleration to revival

Father Seraphim said: "The time will come and my orphans in Christmas gates wallow like peas." Sister was perplexed: "What are these gates will?" In 1927, on the feast of the Nativity of the Virgin began overclocking. In his sermon at the Liturgy in the day, Bishop Seraphim of Dmitrov (Zvezdinsky) told the sisters: "The monastery is closed, but the monk with you, no one takes off. Now each of you brought closer Bowl, and who her drink as worthy? Until now you have burned a total of one candle, and now divided into separate small svechechki. We need to keep this fire. "

Thus was fulfilled the prediction of father Seraphim. In a week's time the monastery (labor gang) was closed. In those days, when the monastery broke up, pouring rain. It seemed as if all nature was crying. Rain hampered sisters very moving, especially the old and the sick, who lived in the poorhouse. After the last service at Exaltation many never seen and did not return to Diveevo. Most of the sisters dispersed throughout the area, some went home. The monastery was behind the walls of the monastery.

Abbess Alexandra with relatives sisters settled in Moore. There she kept part Diveevo shrines, which are then handed her lay nun Maria (Barinova), and that, in turn - Archpriest Victor Shipovalnikovu (many shrines were they handed revival of the monastery in 1999).

Prayer Diveevskaya life did not stop all these years for a single day. The sisters secretly gathered for prayer, the rules are not allowed. Up Close (1937) went to the daily service in the Kazan church. Many were arrested and deported to the camps. The scattering of the monastery lasted until the end of the 40s. Sentences and links to an end and sisters again gradually gathered around the monastery, took the job. Khrushchev attacked persecution. Service and demands were made secretly in homes a visiting priest. With the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Pimen were tonsured.

Revival in Diveevo church life began in 1988, when the faithful were allowed to buy a home over the Kazan source and rebuild it for the church. On Lazarus Saturday, April 22, 1989 was consecrated a wooden church in honor of Our Lady of Kazan. Then, in April 1990, it was re-consecrated Holy Trinity Cathedral.

July 21, 1991, it was announced in the press the decision of the Holy Synod on the resumption of Seraphim-Diveevo monastery. July 29 Diveevo solemnly arrived relics of St. Seraphim of Sarov, acquired in St. Petersburg, the Kazan Cathedral, which was then a museum of atheism and religion. November 17, 1991, Metropolitan Nikolai of Nizhny Novgorod and Arzamas (Kutepov) solemnly, with a large crowd of people dedicated to the dignity of Abbess Seraphim Diveevo monastery nun Sergius (Konkova) before the executable obedience to the diocese in the Holy Transfiguration Monastery Riga desert.

Seraphim-Diveevo Monastery today

Prophecies prep. Seraphim of the greatness of the monastery are gradually beginning to come true. More than 400 nurses gathered today at the monastery. Many who wish to pursue asceticism in this place serving a probationary period. Sisters of different nationalities and all disciplines needed for monastic life, calls for the Queen of Heaven to his inheritance. "Mother of God Herself abode council, she teaches around, arrange everything and indicate whom to elect and lead, who do not have - they have the same message izzhenet destinies of his monastery; Useful approve that that is not useful and ruin everything, all herself make her tokmo single will is something like! "- said Father Seraphim.

Since 1989, seven temples consecrated Diveevo with thirteen altars, as well as rural churches in the monasteries: the Intercession (p. Kanerga), Nicholas (s. Avtodeevo) Znamenskoye (p. Khripunova), the Archangel, and the Trinity in the village. Catering and the church in the monastery and Kutuzov. Ponetaevka - only 8 prestolov.Nyne restored Church of the Intercession of the Archangel monastery, the Church of the Nativity and the Smolensk Icon of the Mother of God at the Arzamas farmstead, cemetery church of St. Sergius of Radonezh in the village. Catering, Nizhny Novgorod Trehsvyatitelsky temple monastery. In the Diveevo preparing for the consecration of two restored chapel Kazan stone church, home church of St.. ravnoap. Mary Magdalene in the old Igumen housing, built a new church in a former monastery farm Lomovka. The restoration of the former hospital house church in honor of the Mother of God "Joy of All Who Sorrow."

The spiritual center of Trinity Cathedral is a great and priceless relic - the holy relics of St. Seraphim of Sarov, the Wonderworker. In 2000, it took place in the face of the glorification of locally venerated saints of the Nizhny Novgorod diocese shimonahini Alexandra (Melgunov) shimonahini Martha (Melyukovoy) and nuns Helena (Manturova), which were all new assistants resort to them with prayers for themselves and neighbors.

At the monastery hotel arranged for priests. For pilgrims operates hotel in the village of North. Several small hotels located in the Diveevo and the surrounding area. Many residents of Diveevo Monastery take the blessing of pilgrims in their homes.

Important events in the life of the monastery were the celebrations of the 100th anniversary and the canonization of the 250 anniversary of the birth of Ven. Seraphim of Sarov, solemnly marked all the Orthodox Christians in 2003 and 2004.

In Diveevo monastery were carried out restoration work on the grand cathedrals and buildings, restore holy grooves, remodeling the monastery grounds and landscaping hotels and refectory for receiving multiple offers.

Celebration of the 100th anniversary from the day of the glorification of St.. Seraphim celebrated with great spiritual elevation. In Sarov and Diveevo worship led by His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II. In the Divine Liturgy in the Diveevo Patriarch Alexy was joined by representatives of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch,

Jerusalem Patriarchate, bishops from nearly all the dioceses of Russia, Ukraine,

Belarus and Estonia, as well as the bishops of the Orthodox Churches: Georgian,

Serbian, Romanian, Bulgarian, Cypriot, the Greek, Albanian , Poland, the Czech Lands and Slovakia, Orthodox Church in America and Japan. Sarov and Diveevo attended by representatives of the government and the House of Romanov.

On the day of celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the canonization of St. Seraphim, His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II addressed the faithful with words of welcome: "... One of the predictions of the Reverend said that among the summer sing Easter. Is not Easter today we have when we are together and celebrate the memory of celebrating the 100th anniversary of the glorification of St.. Seraphim of Sarov ... Let each one of you will take the Easter joy of communicating with the Reverend. I wish that the prayer of Ven. Seraphim would strengthen, to give strength, courage, given to the inner spiritual world to each of you in your life path. Congratulations to all of you, my dear! "

Celebrations of important events in 2004, dedicated to the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ven. Seraphim became consecration of the high altar of the restored temple of Kazan and the glorification among the saints of the Nizhny Novgorod diocese blessed oxbow Pelagia, Paraskeva and Mary Diveevo. Occasion was completed on the last segment of the Mother of God tridtsatimetrovoy grooves. At the end of the grooves, on the site where according to the instructions of the Mother of God in 1827, the mill was built for the Maiden's community was built and consecrated a wooden chapel. In 2004, largely completed landscaping of the central part of the monastery.

Around the world, people scattered, spiritually close to the Diveevo monastery, who once visited this place, felt that "happy is everyone who had a wretched Seraphim Diveevo stay ... from morning to morning, because the Mother of God,

Queen of Heaven, Diveevo visits each day. " Prospering monastery, they remember the promise of Ven. Seraphim: "Who will intercede for them (Diveevo sisters) and in need of protection and help, poured out on to God's mercy over Velia. Who even vozdohnet but regret them and that the Lord will reward. "

About St. Seraphim of Sarov

Future St. Seraphim (named as Prohor Moshnin at birth) was born in 1759 in a family of a merchant in Kursk. When he was 10, he got seriously ill and once he saw the Mother of God in his sleep, who promised to heal him.

A few days later there was a religious procession in the town with the miracleworking icon of the Mother of God and it passed the house of the future St. Seraphim. His mother took took him to the miracle-working image and he recovered.

St. Seraphim helped his parents with their shop when he was a boy, but most of all he loved to attend church and to pray - as future St. Sergius did when he was a boy, and to read about saints' lives.

When he was 18, St. Seraphim decided to become a monk and entered the Sarov monastery as a novice.

From the very beginning at the Sarov monastery, he lived a very ascetic life and often prayed in solitude in the forest.

Because of frequent and long fasting, St. Seraphim became ill and spent most of the three next years in bed.

And again St. Seraphim was healed by the Mother of God, having appeared to him with several saints.

St. Seraphim took his monastic vows in 1786, at the age of 27. The name Seraphim, which he was given, in Hebrew means `burning' or `zealos' or `very enthusiastic'.

Soon after St. Seraphim was appointed a hierodeacon. And zealous he was indeed. He spent all of his time in the Monastery's churches. Through prayer and religious services, St. Seraphim saw angels.

In 1793 St. Seraphim was ordained a hieromonk, after which he served every day and received Holy Communion for a year.

St. Seraphim then began to withdraw into his hermitage in the forest 5 km from Sarov Monastery (the place where the first St. Spring above is located). Wild animals came to St. Seraphim's hut. Once St. Seraphim was severely beaten by robbers in the forest. Although he was physically strong and was holding an axe at the time,St. Seraphim did not resist. In answer to their threats and demands for money, he lay his axe on the ground. They beat him on the head with the handle of his own axe and trampled him underfoot until he fell unconscious and they thought he had died. The only valuable thing which they found in his cell was the icon of the Mother of God of Deep Emotion (Ymileniye), before which he always prayed. St. Seraphim remained hunched for the remaining life and sometimes portrayed hunched even on icons.

Sometime after he was injured, a new period began in the life of St. Seraphim. He spent a thousand days staying on a big stone not far from his hermitage and praying with his arms raised to heaven.

Through prayers St. Seraphim was given vision of the Mother of God. Later as an elder (starets) he began to admit everyone who came to him for advice. And they were thousands and thousands of people. St. Seraphim greeted all of them with the words: `My joy!'. Whoever came to him, St. Seraphim bowed to the ground and in blessing kissed their hands. He could see what visitors had on their soul without any explanations.

He used to teach that joy is not a sin as it drives away weariness, and weariness can result in dejection.

St. Seraphim Sarovsky is commemorated on August 1 and January 15.

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