Korets, Rivne Province, Ukraine, June 28, 2021
Holy Trinity-Korets Convent rejoiced on Thursday, June 24, as the canonization of its founder and first abbess, Princess Seraphima Koretskaya (+ 1633) was festively celebrated.
The Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church resolved to canonize the princess-abbess at its session on December 6, 2019.
The celebration also coincided with the feast of the monastery’s main sacred treasure, the wonderworking Surety of Sinners Icon of the Mother of God. The service was headed by His Eminence Metropolitan Irinei of Dnepropetrovsk, with the concelebration of 11 other hierarchs of the Ukrainian Church, reports the Rivne Diocese.
The Synod’s decision to canonize St. Seraphim was read out during the service. Then her life was read, followed by the first official singing of her troparion, kontakion, and magnification.
After the Liturgy, a procession was held with the wonderworking Surety of Sinners Icon and the icon of St. Seraphima.
On June 20, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine also celebrated the glorification of a number of saints of the Alexandria Diocese of the Ukrainian Church.
St. Seraphima was a princess who served as the first abbess of Holy Trinity Monastery after the invasion of Khan Meñli I Giray at the end of the 15th century. The monastery was initially built in 1064 by St. Barlaam of the Kiev Caves, though it was destroyed and resurrected several times throughout its long history.
After being ravaged by the Khan’s hordes, the monastery was revived 75 years later by Prince Euthymy and his son Joachim Koretsky. Joachim’s daughter Sophia, who received the name Seraphima in the tonsure, was appointed abbess.
The main church, of the Resurrection of Christ, took place in 1580. After 16 years, the Union of Brest was concluded, and over the next 20 years, only 9 men’s monasteries and the Holy Trinity Convent remained Orthodox out of the 57 monasteries in Volhynia. The monastery began to conduct anti-Catholic activities and soon became a stronghold of Orthodoxy and a refuge for nuns who were expelled from other monasteries by the Uniates.
Over time, a new more expensive monastery was built under Mother Seraphima’s direction, though it was soon handed over to Franciscans.
During her abbacy, in 1622, the wonderworking “Surety of Sinners” Icon of the Mother of God of Korets was transferred to the monastery, along with the shroud of the Theotokos (a Korestky family relic).
It is also known that Mother Seraphima was acquainted with the great St. Job of Pochaev, who spent several days at the monastery in 1628, celebrating the services and holding spiritual talks with the sisters.