→External links: Added link to Orthodox Church Quotes; consistency with spelling website
of Sarov.jpg|right|frame|St. Seraphim of Sarov]]Our venerable father among the saints '''Seraphim of Sarov''' was a Russian [[ascetic]] who lived at the Sarov Monastery in the 18th century, and is considered a [[wonder-worker]]. The Church commemorates St. Seraphim on [[January 2]], and the opening of his [[relics]] on [[July 19]].
In 1793, St. Seraphim was [[ordination|ordained]] a [[hieromonk]], after which he served every day and received [[Eucharist]] for a year. St. Seraphim then began to withdraw into his "farther [[hermitage]]"—the forest wilderness about five km from Sarov Monastery. He achieved great perfection at this time. Wild animals—bears, rabbits, wolves, foxes and others—came to the hut of the ascetic. The staritsa, i.e., eldress, of the Diveevo monastery, Matrona Plescheeva, witnessed how St. Seraphim fed a bear that had come to him out of his hand: "The face of the great starets was particularly miraculous. It was joyous and bright, as that of an angel," she described. While living in this little hermitage of his, St. Seraphim once suffered greatly at the hands of robbers. Although he was physically very strong and was holding an axe at the time, St. Seraphim did not resist them. In answer to their threats and their demands for money, he lay his axe down on the ground, crossed his arms on his chest and obediently gave himself up to them. They began to beat him on the head with the handle of his own axe. Blood began to pour out of his mouth and ears, and he fell unconscious. After that they began to hit him with a log, trampled him under foot, and dragged him along the ground. They stopped beating him only when they had decided that he had died. The only treasure which the robbers found in his cell was the icon of the Mother of God of Deep Emotion (Ymileniye), before which he always prayed. When, after some time, the robbers were caught and brought to justice, the holy monk interceded on their behalf before the judge. After the beating, St. Seraphim remained hunched over for the rest of his life.
Soon after this began the "[[stylite|pillar]]" period of the life of St. Seraphim, when he spent his days on a rock near his little hermitage, and nights in the thick of the forest. He prayed with his arms raised to heaven, almost without respite. This feat of his continued for a thousand days.
Because of a special vision of the Mother of God he was given toward the end of his life, St. Seraphim took upon himself the feat of becoming an elder. He began to admit everyone who came to him for advice and direction. Many thousands of people from all walks of life and conditions began to visit the elder now, who enriched them from his spiritual treasures, which he had acquired by many years of efforts. Everyone saw St. Seraphim as meek, joyful, pensively sincere. He greeted all with the words: "My joy!" To many he advised: "Acquire a peaceful spirit, and around you thousands will be saved." No matter who came to him, the starets bowed to the ground before all, and, in blessing, kissed their hands. He did not need the visitors to tell about themselves, as he could see what each had on their soul. He also said, "Cheerfulness is not a sin. It drives away weariness, for from weariness there is sometimes dejection, and there is nothing worse than that."
"Oh, if you only knew," he once said to a monk, "what joy, what sweetness awaits a righteous soul in [[Heaven]]! You would decide in this mortal life to bear any sorrows, persecutions and slander with gratitude. If this very cell of ours was filled with worms, and these worms were to eat our flesh for our entire life on earth, we should agree to it with total desire, in order not to lose, by any chance, that heavenly joy which God has prepared for those who love Him."
"The reading of the word of God should be performed in solitude, in order that the whole mind of the reader might be plunged into the truths of the [[Holy Scripture]], and that from this he might receive warmth, which in solitude produces tears; from these a man is
wholy warmed and is filled with spiritual gifts, which rejoice the mind and heart more than any word."
"God is a fire that warms and kindles the heart and inward parts. Hence, if we feel in our hearts the cold which comes from the devil—for the devil is cold—let us call on the Lord. He will come to warm our hearts with perfect love, not only for Him but also for our neighbor, and the cold of him who hates the good will flee before the heat of His countenance."
"The body is a slave, the soul a sovereign, and therefore it is due to Divine mercy when the body is worn out by illness: for thereby the passions are weakened, and a man comes to himself; indeed, bodily illness itself is sometimes caused by the passions." -- ''Spiritual Instructions''.
"Those who have truly decided to serve the Lord God should practice the remembrance of God and uninterrupted prayer to Jesus Christ, mentally saying: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner."
*[http://www.russian-orthodox-church.org.uk/WHO%20IS%20ST.%20SERAPHIM.htm St. Seraphim of Sarov: Life and Teachings] by Bishop Alexander (Mileant), translated by Nicholas and Natalia Semyanko
*[http://ocafs.oca.org/FeastSaintsViewer.asp?FSID=100008 Repose of the Venerable Seraphim the Wonderworker of Sarov] ([[OCA]])
*[http://ocafs.oca.org/FeastSaintsViewer.asp?FSID=102053 Uncovering of the relics of the Venerable Seraphim of Sarov] (OCA)
ocafs. oca. org/ FeastSaintsViewer. asp?FSID=102122 Icon of the Mother of God "of Tenderness" from Seraphim-Diveyevo] which belonged to St. Seraphim (OCA)*[http://goarch.org /en/chapel/saints .asp?contentid=366 Seraphim the Wonderworker of Sarov] ([[GOARCH]])*[http://goarch.org /en/chapel/saints .asp?contentid=696 Translation of the Holy Relics of Righteous Seraphim of Sarov]] (GOARCH)*[http://www.comeandseeicons.com/peace.htm Prayer for Peace] St. Seraphim used non-resistance to make peace.
[[ro:Serafim de Sarov]]