The “Tale of Peter and Febronia of Murom” was written by Monk Ermolai-Erasm (Ermolai Pregreshny), and the work immediately became a favorite read among the literate folk; it spread around in a huge number of handwritten copies, and was passed along in oral tradition.
“There are many wonderful elders from the twentieth century. St. Joseph stands out among them by his productivity, if I can express it that way. I often say that he is the most productive saint of the twentieth century from the point of view of his fruits.”
It is regrettable that only a few facts about the life of this great abbess who was venerated all over Scotland and northern England and esteemed by the Venerable Bede are known. Now that the interest in this holy woman is increasing among the Orthodox, let us recall her biography.
I first saw Fr. Gabriel on Rustaveli Avenue in the 1980s. Raising his hands to Heaven, he called out: “Georgians! Wake up and see what is happening in Georgia, what state the grave of St. Shushanik is in! Is the Metekhi Church really a place for a theater?!”
Aren’t there enough Church writers in our days? There are enough. So why do we honor Fr. Seraphim? Why do Orthodox hearts on every continent respond to his words? Is it not because the Lord exalted him and sanctified him with spiritual gifts while he was still alive? And we are drawn to Fr. Seraphim, sensing this holiness with our hearts.
Thus this poor mother taught her children who the Mother of God is, and she taught them with her whole heart that the Mother of God is their true Mother. Therefore, the children, rising in the morning, even before speaking with their mother, would run to the Mother of God, make several prostrations, pray the Lord’s Prayer and prayers to the Mother of God, honoring her according to the strength of their childish understanding.
We have read the last page of the sacred book, the content of which exudes innocence and piety from cover to cover. At the mere sight of this book, even the cruelest critics bearing the weight of prejudice and bias have silently stopped, and having read it from beginning to end, walked away with softened hearts and rejuvenated spirits.
This ceremony followed a Holy All-night Vigil which was officiated by Archimandrite Demetrios Kavathas, according to the long-term established Status Quo, at the Metochion of Gethsemane opposite the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The Icon is kept there and was taken to the Tomb of the Theotokos in Gethsemane.
We continue to publish the recollections of Archimandrite Jovan (Radosavlević), a friend, companion, and co-struggler of the Serbian Patriarch Pavle. Fr. Jovan published his recollections in the book Memories, printed at Rača Monastery in 2018. Several episodes from this book—mournful and joyful, sad and smile-evoking—tell about the life of the Serbian Church and Serbian people at the end of the twentieth century, before and during the open war in 1999. We offer them today.
I must say that after this story from Mother, Fr. Seraphim and ascetics like him, whose lot it was in the difficult war and post-war years to comfort and encourage people, to instill faith in them and to pray for them, sparing no time or effort, remained in my thoughts for a long time.
We continue the recollections of Archimandrite Jovan (Radosavlević), a friend, companion, and co-struggler of the Serbian Patriarch Pavle. Fr. Jovan published his recollections in the book Memories, printed at Rača Monastery in 2018. We offer today several episodes from this book concerning the persecution of the Serbian Church and people by the state and by Albanians.