Topic: Russian Church
Emperor Alexander I visiting St. Seraphim in 1825
St. Seraphim of Sarov is being celebrated today, August 1, in Russia and other countries around the world. Liturgy services are being held in Orthodox churches worldwide in honor of the 110th anniversary of the saint’s canonization. There are churches named in honor of St. Seraphim in the United States, Europe and Australia, ITAR-TASS reports.
Traditionally the celebrations of St. Seraphim at the Serafimo-Diveevsky Monastery near Sarov attract thousands of pilgrims each year. This year new cathedrals named in honor of the saint are to open in Belgorod and Izhevsk. On August 3 of this year a special bicycle tour is being organized, with stops and excursions at various religious sites in the Nizhniy Novgorod region.
Saint Seraphim of Sarov was born on August 1, 1754, and is one of the most renowned Russian monks and mystics in the Orthodox Church. He is generally considered the greatest of the 19th century startsy (elders) and, arguably, the first. He is remembered for extending the monastic teachings of contemplation, theoria and self-denial to the layperson, and taught that the purpose of the Christian life was to acquire the Holy Spirit.
Seraphim was glorified (canonized) by the Russian Orthodox Church in 1903 at the initiative of Emperor Nicholas II. The date of his death is his major feast day. Reverence for him is not limited to the Orthodox church; Pope John Paul II referred to him as a saint in his book, Crossing the Threshold of Hope.
Tsar Nicholas II, accompanied by his family and nearly half a millon pilgrims, attend the canonisation of St. Seraphim of Sarov, instituted initially at the request of the pious Tsar himself. Emperor Nicholas II and the grand dukes took part in the transfer of the Holy relics.
© Russkiy Mir. 01 August, 2013