A DAY WITH VENERABLE FATHER SERAPHIM OF SAROV

June 14, 2015 was the hottest day of the month and the temperature was 48c. It seems early in the morning that the sun has descended on the earth. With the blessings of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, St. Michael the Archangel Orthodox Mission in Pakistan organized one day program for the Orthodox Faithful in Pakistan about the holy life of St. Seraphim of Sarov.

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Despite of the scorching temperature, the people participated in the solemn celebration with real devotion for St. Seraphim of Sarov. Their faces were glowing as the dazzling Light of the Risen Lord has touched their hearts. The name Seraphim means “fiery” or “burning” in Hebrew. It really seems that today our Venerable Father Seraphim was present among us.

Procession:

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The solemn celebration opened with the procession followed by the festive Divine Liturgy. A prayer of Saint Seraphim of Sarov, translated into the Pakistani native language, was read by Fr. Joseph Farooq; other prayers were also said for the health and many good years of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Russia, His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, for the Orthodox clergy and faithful, and for peace, unity, brotherhood and solidarity throughout the world.

Sermon:

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After the Divine Liturgy, Fr. Joseph Farooq preached comprehensively the life history and miraculous works of Saint Seraphim of Sarov. Fr. Joseph Farooq told the faithful that at the age of 18, St. Seraphim resolved to become a monk. His mother blessed him with a large copper cross, which he wore over his clothes for the rest of his life. Before he joined the monastic life, the young Seraphim liked to read the Lives of Saints, to go to church, and to pray in seclusion. He was accepted as a novice in the Sarov monastery.

Further he told the faithful that Saint Seraphim of Sarov is one of the greatest Russian ascetics and wonderworkers, with profound spiritual discernment. He was distinguished by a great humility. When being praised by the entire world, he referred to himself as “the poor wretch Seraphim.”

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Fr. Joseph shared that Saint Seraphim of Sarov was blessed by a vision of angels participating in sermons and singing. During the Liturgy on Great Thursday he had a vision of the Lord Jesus Christ incarnate in human flesh as He was entering the temple together with Angelic Hosts and blessing those in prayer. Venerable Seraphim was so taken by the vision that he could not speak for a long time.

In his sermon Fr. Joseph Farooq instructed the faithful that the ascetic life of Saint Seraphim is the perfect example for the Orthodox faithful to live with devotion, cheerfulness, patience, hard work and obedience in all circumstances. Our Venerable Father Seraphim had a very close association with the Most Holy Mother of God, and therefore he ceaselessly prayed before the icon of the Mother of God (of Tender Feeling). This closeness with the Most Holy Theotokos was so strong that she appeared to him surrounded by indescribable light, accompanied by the Apostles Peter and John the Theologian.

St. Seraphim is known as a wonderworker through whom God worked many miracles of all kinds. He still continues to work miracles in our lives whenever we seek help from him. His miracles are countless, and I am only mentioning two powerful miracles of St. Saraphim of Sarov, which reflect the Glory of God. These two persons, Michael Vasileevich Manturov and Nicholas Alexandrovich Motovilov, were victims of serious sicknesses, and the doctors were unable to cure their diseases. But they were healed by St. Seraphim’s prayers.

Help from our venerable father Seraphim of Sarov:

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After the sermon, people were given time to light their candles that they brought along with them in front of the icon of the St. Saraphim of Sarov. They were instructed to ask for the help from St. Seraphim of Sarov for their problems, any family sickness and for the blessings of their Orthodox faith. They asked for help with complete faith and enthusiasm that their prayers will be heard through the powerful intercessions of St. Seraphim. Some of the faithful expressed their feelings and testimonies of how St. Seraphim brought comfort to their lives. It was a large gathering consisting of Orthodox faithful and those who wish to embrace holy Orthodoxy in the future. There were good number of women and children present. At the end of the solemn celebrations the icons of St. Seraphim of Sarov were distributed among the faithful. All the faithful were very happy as they received the icons.

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Humble request:

With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan HILARION, Archbishop of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, dedicated the year 2015, that God willing we shall be able to buy land and build the first Holy Russian Orthodox Church in Pakistan and school for Orthodox and Non-Orthodox Christian Children. I earnestly pray to God that He may provide us the kind and generous donors for the completion of this sacred project.

For queries about the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia in Pakistan, kindly contact: fr.joseph.rocpk@gmail.com

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