Greeting of Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York on the consecration of a new monument to St Seraphim of Sarov in Novo-Diveevo Convent
Your Beatitude, Your Graces!
Your Excellency, Honorable Igor Konstantinovich, Consul General of Russia in New York, Dear in the Lord Brothers and Sisters:
How wonderful, beautiful and edifying that the blessing of this splendid monument to St Seraphim of Sarov is taking place this year, when the entire Russian Church is prayerfully remembering the 100th anniversary of the martyrdom of Metropolitan Venyamin of Kiev, Archbishop Andronik of Perm and of the Royal Passion-Bearers who died in Ekaterinburg, Perm and Alapaevsk.
In connection with this one cannot help but recall the participation of the Royal Family in the Church’s glorification of St Seraphim in 1903. That great celebration in Imperial Russia was led by the leading member of the Holy Ruling Synod, Metropolitan Anthony (Vadkovsky) of St Petersburg and Ladoga. At the gates of Sarov Hermitage, Metropolitan Anthony of blessed memory welcomed the Tsar with the following words:
This holy convent of Sarov joyously greets you, Pious Tsar, who came today to prayerfully participate in the celebration of the canonization of its great ascetic, the remarkable elder, Hieromonk Seraphim. The entirety of the multitude of the Orthodox Christians gathered here today rejoices in beholding their Tsar, to pray and share this great feast together. Welcome in peace, o Tsar, to this monastery, and may your entrance be blessed by the saint being glorified today.
The entrance of the Anointed of God was indeed blessed, for he decreed to “immediately canonize” the elder of Sarov, who even now glorify the King of Heaven, the Creator and Master of All together with the multitude of martyrs, passion-bearers and confessors of Russia! Let us remember the words of St Seraphim: “The Tsar who glorifies me—him will I glorify, too.” The prophesy of the Elder of Sarov came to be true. And the pilgrimage to the Sarov Hermitage and the fervent prayers of the saint brought the Royal Family a great consolation—the birth of the heir, the Tsarevich!
As we prayerfully mark this anniversary, this important and sorrowful year, we always seek consolation, edification, the heavenly aid and renewal of our strength. May God grant us all, in the Fatherland and in the diaspora, through the prayers of St Seraphim, to ever walk “in the newness of life” (Romans 6:4), to “remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel” (2 Timothy 2:8), and to reach eternal Pascha, where "we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2).
I hope that this monument will forever remind us of the need to follow this spiritual struggle which strengthens us in all the paths of our lives and works. Amen.
Sunday, June 3, 2018, at Holy Dormition Church in Novo-Diveevo Convent, Nanuet, NY.