February 3, 2016
On February 3, 2016, the fifth plenary session of the Holy Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church, held at Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow, the proposal to canonize Archbishop Seraphim (Sobolev) was deliberated upon.
Participating in the session was a delegation from the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, including His Eminence Metropolitan Ioann of Varna and Veliki Preslav, His Grace Bishop Arseny of Znepolsk, Vicar of the Plovdiv Metropoliate, and Archimandrite Feoktist (Dimitrov), representative of the Bulgarian Patriarch to the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia.
Speeches on the life and veneration of the holy hierarch were read by His Eminence Metropolitan Ilarion of Volokolamsk, Head of the Department of External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, and Metropolitan Ioann, co-chairmen of the Joint Commission of the Russian and Bulgarian Orthodox Churches on the Canonization of Archbishop Seraphim.
His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia stressed the need to glorify Archbishop Seraphim, as did His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia; His Eminence Metropolitan Alexander of Riga and All Latvia; His Eminence Metropolitan Sergei of Voronezh and Liskinsk; His Eminence Metropolitan Mark of Ryazan and Mikhailovsk; Archimandrite Filipp (Vasiltsev), Rector of St Nicholas of Myra Church in Sofia, Bulgaria, a podvorie of the Moscow Patriarchate, where Archbishop Seraphim is interred.
The members of the Council unanimously voted for the glorification of Archbishop Seraphim, who has been venerated for many years in Bulgaria and Russia. Metropolitan Ilarion then read the Act of the Holy Council of Bishops announcing the canonization of Archbishop Seraphim among the host of saints.
The Council members then sang the exaltation to the newly-glorified saint.
His Holiness Patriarch Kirill then gave Metropolitan Ioann an icon of St Seraphim painted at St Petersburg Theological Academy as a gift to the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.