Diveyevo, Russia, August 3, 2022
The traditional procession from Sarov to Diveyevo and back, timed to the feast of the great St. Seraphim of Sarov, marked its 25th anniversary this year, resuming after a two-year break.
The procession began in 1996, then mostly made up old women from Sarov who had preserved the Orthodox faith during the years of persecution against the Church.
The faithful left from Sarov on Sunday, July 31, bearing icons of St. Seraphim, the “She Who is Quick to Hear” Mother of God, and festal banners. Chanting the akathist to St. Seraphim, they left from the Church of All Saints, through Holy Dormition Monastery-Sarov Hermitage to the near and far hermitages of St. Seraphim, where molebens were served, reports Orthodox Sarov.
Then the faithful headed off for Diveyevo, with a stop in the city to pray in the Church of the Royal Passion-Bearers.
Orthodox believers joined the procession along the way, and by the time it reached Diveyevo, there were about 1,000 people walking and praying. Many people driving by would stop to get out of their cars and venerate the procession icons. Locals also fed the faithful when they stopped along the way to rest.
When the procession arrived at Diveyevo Monastery, the faithful participated in the All-Night Vigil at the Holy Trinity Cathedral. After the service, Sarov residents returned home by bus.
The pilgrims returned to the monastery the next day for Divine Liturgy for the feast of St. Seraphim, after which they processed back to Sarov, where they prayed to St. Seraphim for the last time in the Church of All Saints.