Orthodox icon | Saint Venerable Seraphim of Sarov | 25021

Russian icon

18 x 14 cm | 7.1 x 5.5 in

19th century (after 1903)

Antike original russische Ikone aus dem 19. Jahrhundert.


Saint Seraphim of Sarov (originally Prokhor Moshnin) was born on July 19, 1759. He was the youngest of three children of a merchant and brick factory owner, but he lost his father at the age of four, read prayer books and saints’ lives from an early age and attended church services independently. At the age of 17, after a pilgrimage to Kyiv, he went to the monastery of the Pechersk, at the age of 19 he entered the monastery of Sarov and took the name Seraphim. Even as a novice, his ascetic strictness, which he practiced with iron willpower, was noticeable: enduring extreme cold, meager meals without satiation and a constant lack of sleep. In 1793 he was ordained a priest; from now on he celebrated the divine liturgy every day. From 1794 to 1810 he lived as a hermit in the forest near Tambov, where he built a windowless hut. His daily work included constant prayer and weekly reading of all four gospels, following the contemplative tradition of hesychasm. In order to align himself with God as comprehensively as possible by saying the heart prayer, he reduced his sleep even further.

In 1804 Seraphim was attacked by robbers, was just able to escape to the monastery and from then on only walked bent over and with a stick. From 1807 to 1810 he remained in perpetual silence. In 1810 he had to return to the monastery in Sarov on the orders of a new abbot; he prayed all day in his small cell and spent the few hours of sleep kneeling in front of his table. From 1815 he gave up his rigorous solitude, now he was visited by many people as a pastor, the tradition reports up to 1000 people seeking help in one day. For young priests he acted as a teacher, confessor and adviser on theological questions.

On New Year’s Day 1833 he still attended the service, then he was heard singing Easter carols in his cell. On January 2, when smoke billowed from his monastery cell, the brothers found him dead with his eyes closed and his arms crossed in front of a fallen candle and the icon of Our Lady.

Seraphim is one of the most famous saints of the Russian Orthodox Church. On January 2, 1833 he passed away. He was canonized on July 19, 1903.

Poliment gilded background, chased, punched with multicolored ornaments.

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