Today — or yesterday if you want to be strict about liturgical time — is the commemoration of the repose of St. Seraphim of Sarov, a beloved holy father in the Orthodox Church and beyond. And while I was in church remembering him with hymns and prayers, this icon was waiting in a package on my front porch, painted and sent by my goddaughter Rosemary. It says right on the package: “Expected delivery date: January 4.” But it would be rude to make him sit in a truck or depot on his memorial day. Perhaps it was an angel who sped him along to my house two days early; it fulfilled my joy to have his icon with me and to be able to see through this particular “window into heaven,” on his very feast day.
“On January 2 , Father Paul, the saint’s cell-attendant, left his own cell at six in the morning to attend the early Liturgy. He noticed the smell of smoke coming from the Elder’s cell. Saint Seraphim would often leave candles burning in his cell, and Father Paul was concerned that they could start a fire.
“’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. Saint 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 Saint Seraphim had been all his life.”
6 thoughts on “His pure soul.”
That is a beautiful painting and how wonderful that it arrived on the day!
What a gift! I’m amazed that she painted this icon. God has given her talent. So wonderful it arrived early instead of sitting in a mail room.
And regarding your comment on my blog, about my dad, yes, I hope he’s watching…we miss him, as I’m sure you miss your husband!
This dear Saint is so gracious in praying for my cat’s veterinary issues and “vermin problems” in my apartment. I turn to him often.
Happy New Year, dear GJ.
I had something similar happen many years ago. I was looking to buy a book that was published in Russia through connections in Germany. The process of doing this began, I believe, in late April or early May (2006). I received word at the end of June that everything was in order; the book was on its way. I mentioned to a coworker that it would be interesting if the book would arrive on July 13, the day the subject of the book was executed. Sure enough, the book arrived on July 13, and the ‘coincidence’ of it kind of gave me chills (in a figurative way, at least). The book was about Alexander Schmorell, who has since been glorified as a saint in the Orthodox Church, and July 13 is his feast day.
Your goddaughter did an amazing job of painting this saint. Imagine it arriving right on the right day too.
Your goddaughter did an amazing work!