Akhalkalaki, Georgia, February 28, 2023
Hieromonk Seraphim (Rose), the righteous American struggler, is greatly beloved and venerated throughout the Orthodox world and many eagerly await his canonization.
Among those who venerate Fr. Seraphim is His Eminence Metropolitan Nikoloz of Akhalkalaki, Kumurdo, and Kari of the Georgian Orthodox Church.
On Sunday, the Georgian hierarch concelebrated the Divine Liturgy in the tiny Church of the Archangel Michael in his diocese with His Grace Bishop Gerasim of Forth Worth (Orthodox Church in America), who was a spiritual child of Fr. Seraphim at St. Herman’s Monastery in Platina, California.
And as Met. Nikoloz told Bp. Gerasim, Fr. Seraphim was, in fact, locally canonized in his diocese just a week prior, and an icon of Fr. Seraphim was hung in the church at that time. The icon can be seen to the left of the archimandrite at the beginning of the video from the Punks and Monks channel:
Met. Nikoloz’s remarks to Bp. Gerasim begin at 11:40. Speaking of Fr. Seraphim, he said:
Thank you to Bp. Gerasim for coming. I think it’s not a coincidence that a week ago we hung the icon of his spiritual father, Fr. Seraphim Rose. And I think it’s also not a coincidence that Fr. Seraphim Rose is not canonized in the world, but he is canonized in our diocese and it will start from here.
Bp. Gerasim first came to Georgia in 1991, not even 10 years after the death of Fr. Seraphim Rose. And during that hard period, we managed to print two of his books, and maybe that’s one of the reasons you have come so often.
Both Met. Nikoloz and Bp. Gerasim were at St. Herman’s Monastery in September for the pilgrimage in honor of the 40th anniversary of Fr. Seraphim’s repose.
The Georgian hierarch testified that he came to America at that time with a special mission—to inspire the formal glorification among the saints of Fr. Seraphim. He made sure to visit His Grace Bishop Maxim, the Serbian bishop of Los Angeles, to share his proposal with him (though Fr. Seraphim himself was a hieromonk of ROCOR, St. Herman’s Monastery, where his relics repose, is now part of the Serbian Church).
Met. Nikoloz also visited Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, New York, in late October for the 25th anniversary of the repose of the keeper of the miraculous Montreal Iveron Icon of the Mother of God Icon Br. José Muñoz-Cortes, with a similar message: It’s time to canonize Br. José.