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On January 15, 2011, the day of the second finding of the relics of St Seraphim of Sarov, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate department for external church relations (DECR) and rector of the Ss Cyril and Methodius Institute of Post-Graduate Studies (CMI), celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the church of the Beheading of St John the Baptist in the Patriarchal Metochion of the Wonder-workers of Chernigov. 

Among the metropolitan’s concelebrants was Archimadrite Seraphim (Shemyatovski) of the Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands of Slovakia.

In his address to the congregation, Metropolitan Hilarion spoke in detail about St. Seraphim’s life and personality, stressing that the saint lived at a time when atheism took root in Russia and the processes taking place in society led later to the revolution, the overthrow of the autocracy and people’s rejection of God. ‘St. Seraphim was one of those who, contrary to the spirit of the time, lived in eternity, lived by the inherent part of every human soul, by that which can be lived by in any time irrespective of the fashion, the public mood and all that the modern society lives by’. 

‘St Seraphim of Sarov is a bright and unsetting star on the firmament of Russian sanctity. He shines forth on us today, reminding us that we are called to the life of the upper world, that we should build our life on earth according to God’s commandments and should not forget about the most important thing, one thing that is needful, which is our inner peace and spiritual quiet, which come from God through our experience of communion with God’. 

DECR Communication Service


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