Venerable Father Seraphim of Sarov

English Language Study for Russian Orthodox Learners

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(January 2/15, July 19/August 1)

Venerable Father Seraphim of SarovSaint Seraphim was born Prokhor Moshnin in 1754 in a merchant’s family.  As a young boy he already showed great devotion to God.  He liked to pray, read about lives of saints and attend church.  At age 18 Prokhor told his mother he had decided to be a monk.  She blessed him with a large crucifix which the Saint wore all his life.

Prokhor went to Sarov Monastery to serve as a novice.  He ate only once a day, and on Wednesdays and Fridays did not eat at all.  Very often he withdrew deep into the forest and prayed there for a long time.

At age 27, novice Prokhor took monastic vows.  He spent most of his time in church.  Through constant prayer Father Seraphim became worthy of seeing angels.  Once, during the Liturgy on Holy Thursday, he saw the Lord Jesus Christ blessing the people.  After this vision, Saint Seraphim could not speak for several days.

For a long time, Father Seraphim lived as a hermit in a forest five kilometers from the Monastery.  He achieved such perfection that wild animals were not afraid of him.  The venerable father even fed a bear out of his hand.

For a thousand days and nights the Holy Father prayed on a rock in the forest.  His constant prayer and purity enabled him to see the light of the Holy Spirit and show it to other people.

Towards the end of his life, Father Seraphim met with everyone who wanted to see him.  He greeted every person with the words, “My joy!” Thousands of visitors received help, advice and a kind word from Venerable Seraphim.

Saint Seraphim of Sarov was glorified in 1903.

Словарь к тексту

devotion, n.  [dɪˈvəuʃən]  преданность, посвящение себя (чему-либо)
crucifix, n.  [ˈkruːsɪfɪks]  крест, распятие
withdraw (withdrew-withdrawn), v.  [wɪθˈdrɔː]  удаляться
through, adv.  [θruː]  путём, посредством
worthy, adj.  [ˈwəːðɪ]  достойный
perfection, n.  [pəˈfekʃən]  совершенство
purity, n.  [ˈpjuərɪtɪ]  безупречная чистота
enable, v.  [iˈneɪbl]  давать возможность, делать возможным
the Holy Spirit  Святой Дух