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Saint Seraphim of Sarov

St. Seraphim of Sarov (1754-1833) “has much to teach the Orthodox Christians of these last times.” ... “St. Seraphim was born in Kursk, in the heart of Holy Russia, to a pious merchant family. Raised in the fear of God and strict Orthodox life, he also knew very early the mercies of God at first hand; at the age of ten he was miraculously healed of a serious affliction by the Mother of God through her Kursk Icon (which is now in America and continues to work miracles).” ... “At the age of twenty-seven St. Seraphim was tonsured a monk, and a few months later was ordained deacon. He served as deacon for nearly seven years, entering deeply into the meaning of the Church's services. Often he saw angels; and once, on Great Thursday, as he stood before the Royal Doors in the middle of the Liturgy, he saw Christ Himself in the air surrounded by angels. Unable to continue serving, he was conducted away and stood for several hours in ecstasy.” ... “In 1804 the saint was attacked by robbers and beaten almost to death. The Mother of God appeared to him in his affliction, together with the Apostles Peter and John the Theologian, saying of him: ‘This is one of our kind.’ After this attack he was bent over and walked always with a staff.” ... “For the last eight years of his life St. Seraphim lived in the forest of Sarov and received the thousands of pilgrims who came to him to ask his prayers and spiritual counsel. The saint now was manifest as a clairvoyant wonderworker, a grace-filled vessel of the action of the Holy Spirit. No one—monk, layman, or nun—left him without consolation and an answer to their spiritual need. He was in constant contact with the world above; twelve times in all, the Mother of God Herself appeared to him. He died kneeling before an icon of the Mother of God of ‘Tender Feeling’ on January 2, 1833.” [by Fr. Seraphim Rose. Source, edited]

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Further Reading

Little Russian Philokalia, Vol I. by Saint Seraphim of Sarov.