|Orthodox Calendar 2016|
St. Macrina, sister of Sts. Basil the Great and Gregory of Nyssa (380). St. Dius, abbot, of Antioch (ca. 430). Uncovering of the relics of St. Seraphim of Sarov (1903). Synaxis of the Saints of Kursk.
Blessed Romanus, prince of Ryazan (1270). St. Paisius of the Kiev Caves (14th c.). Blessed Stephen Lazarevic, king of Serbia (1427) and his mother St. Milica (Eugenia in schema) (1405). St. Sophronius, archimandrite, of Svyatogorsk Monastery (1921).
St. Theodore, bishop of Edessa (848). Abba Diocles of the Thebaid.
Repose of Hieroschemamonk Anthony of Valaam (1862), Blessed Abbot Nilus (1870) and Elder John (1903), both of St. Nilus of Sora Monastery, and Archimandrite Nektary (Chernobyl) of Jerusalem (2000).
Thoughts for Each Day of the Year
Elena Kontsevitch“One distinguishing characteristic of the superior should be his love for his inferiors: for the true pastor, according to the words of St John Climacus, is shown by his love for his flock. For it is out of love that the Chief Shepherd was crucified on the cross.”
|"He who truly loves God considers himself a wanderer and newcomer on earth, for in him is a striving towards God in soul and mind, which contemplates God alone." Certain people emerge as standouts in the church. Their chief characteristic is the search to live in the presence of God with every fiber of their being, and to recognize God's presence in creation and humanity. Such a saint was Seraphim of Sarov, author of the saying quoted above.|
|"However prayer, fasting, vigil and all the other Christian practices may be, they do not constitute the aim of our Christian life. Although it is true that they serve as the indispensable means of reaching this end, the true aim of our Christian life consists of the acquisition of the Holy Spirit of God.|
|In literally a few weeks, a group of Orthodox Christians established a parish in the Russian Orthodox tradition. This group included not only Russians but dyed-in-the-wool Americans. Today St Seraphim Parish also boasts Bulgarians, Serbs, Romanians and other Orthodox Christians.|
|As our Greek friends explained to us, very many people now know of Fr. Seraphim in Greece. Furthermore, the Russian Seraphim has become so dear to the hearts of simple believers that they take him to be their own Greek saint, and the less educated might even say that Sarov is somewhere in Greece. Nevertheless, it was not clear what made this particular church venerate him so, especially since it was located in “the boondocks”.|
|As a beginning, Prokhor set off with five companions to the Kiev Caves Lavra, desiring to receive the blessing of the Kiev Elders. Among the ascetics of that monastery was the famous elder Dositheus (who was found to be a woman after she died). That clairvoyant elder had been in continual contact with the blessed Elder Paisius Velichkovsky, and with those monastics who were of one mind with him. Dositheus gave Prokhor spiritual instruction, counselled him to study the ancient Holy Fathers on the work of interior prayer, and directed him to go to Sarov Monastery and remain there until death, for there he would find salvation.|
Fr. Stephen Freeman“Acquire the Spirit of Peace and a thousand souls around you will be saved.” This is perhaps the most famous quote of the great Russian saint, Seraphim of Sarov. Many of his icons have this saying on them. I’ve never met anyone who didn’t like it. On the other hand, I think there are many who do not understand it. And understanding what he meant can take you to the very heart of Orthodoxy.
St. John (Maximovich) of Shanghai and San FranciscoIt was the same during his earthly life. Cities were being destroyed, kingdoms were being established, Napoleon advanced upon Russia with twelve nations and then left in disgrace, Moscow burned and was again raised from the ashes, Decembrists organized revolts and were then sentenced; but was as if these events did not touch St. Seraphim.
Metropolitan Anthony of SourozhWhen he was asked one day, in what does a perishing sinner differ from a righteous man who is saving his soul, a saint, St. Seraphim answered: Only in his resolve…
|“While I am alive,” he once said, “there will be no fire, but when I die, my death shall be revealed by a fire.” When they opened the door, it appeared that books and other things were smoldering. St Seraphim was found kneeling before an icon of the Mother of God with his arms crossed on his chest. His pure soul was taken by the angels at the time of prayer, and had flown off to the Throne of the Almighty God, Whose faithful servant St Seraphim had been all his life.|
|The following are true stories sent by readers to the editors of Pravoslavie.ru.|
Hieromonk Seraphim (Rose)Having led a heavenly life on earth, like the great desert saints of antiquity, even in these latter times of spiritual desolation, St. Seraphim is an instructor and an inspirer of the true Christian life. His Spiritual Instructions—like his celebrated Conversation with Motovilov on the Acquisition of the Holy Spirit—contain no new teaching, but simply repeat in modern times the age-old Christian teaching of the great Fathers whom he constantly cites: Sts. Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, John Chrysostom, Macarius the Great, Dionysius the Areopagite, Ambrose of Milan, Isaac the Syrian, Symeon the New Theologian, the Fathers of the Philokalia.