St Seraphim of Sarov
St. Seraphim lived at the time of the American Revolution,
When Washington, Jefferson and other leaders were forming the USA.
St. Seraphim did not write a constitution, yet he is remembered as a man
of great vision and holiness. When he was 18, Seraphim entered a monastery.
There he learned to do many things. He baked bread, made furniture
and also read and prayed. Around the monastery there was a forest.
Fr. Seraphim built himself a little hut and stayed there a lot.
He grew all his own food in a vegetable garden. The places in the woods he
named after places in the Holy Land - Jerusalem, Nazareth, Bethlehem,
and so on. That way he could remember the daily events in the life of
Jesus. Here people would come to seek his advice.
Fr. Seraphim: I will chop down this tree, so I can use it for firewood.
(Two men approach.)
1st Man: Hand over your money, monk.
Fr. Seraphim: I have none.
2nd Man: Tell your stories to others. All these people who come to see
you, they surely bring you gifts!
(One of the men threw himself at Fr. Seraphim.)
Fr. Seraphim: I could use this ax to defend myself. But this is not my way.
(He drops the ax, and folds his arms on his chest.)
1st Man: Get up, monk.
(One of the burglars snatch the ax, and with its
butt hits Fr. Seraphim on the head.)
2nd Man: Hear, take this and take that.
(Burglar kicks and beats him.)
1st Man: Let's search his hut.
(They both enter the hut and look everywhere breaking everything.)
2nd Man: What is this? No money. No food. Nothing of value.
1st Man: We did all this to the monk and still got nothing out of it.
2nd Man: This is not right. Let's get out of here.
(They tie Fr. Seraphim up. Then they leave Father Seraphim
unconscious. A day passes.
Fr. Seraphim wakes up.)
Fr. Seraphim: I must untie the ropes and get back to the monastery.
(Fr. Seraphim limps back.)
Monk: Fr. Seraphim, what happened to you? This is terrible.
God be merciful. Come brothers and help me.
(Other monks rush out and pick Fr. Seraphim up and carry him off)
Narrator: They take Fr. Seraphim to the hospital where he stays a long
time. He has a dream and sees the Virgin Mary.
Virgin Mary: He is one of ours!
Narrator: After the vision he began to get well. Then he returned to the
monastery and to the hut in the woods. But his back remained bent and
he had to use a stick when walking. The robbers were found and
arrested. They were brought to Fr. Seraphim.
Policeman: Fr. Seraphim, are these the men that robbed and hurt you?
Fr. Seraphim: Yes, but I forgive them. Do not do anything to them. Give
them a second chance.
Robbers: (Falling on the ground before him.)
Holy Father, forgive us for harming you. Please keep us in your holy prayers.
From the little Falcon Vol 12 No. 2, 2005
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