Fr. Seraphim Rose’s Monastery. A photographic pilgrimage by Archimandrite Tikhon (Shevkunov)
On the anniversary of the repose of Hieromonk Seraphim (Rose: 1934-1982)
Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him:
150 years after the repose of St. Seraphim of Sarov, in the opposite corner of the world, a monk who sought to imitate the spiritual labors of the elder of Sarov and took his name in monasticism reposed in the Lord.
Few of the ascetics of piety in the twentieth century played such an important role in the catechism of our compatriots in Soviet and post-Soviet Russia as Hieromonk Seraphim (Rose).
His unusual path to the Church, yet one so familiar and close to us, his strict ascetic life, overwhelmingly living faith, erudition, his deep and joyous discovery of the opportunity to enter the life with Christ has inspired and strengthened a great many seekers of God.
The young American Eugene Rose, who to everyone’s surprise became an Orthodox monk and forever settled in a tiny mountain monastery in remote Platina, California, managed to fulfil the last commandment of the Savior to His disciples: «Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature» (Mark 16:15).
Not only did Hieromonk Seraphim open the whole world of the Orthodox heritage of the Holy Fathers for himself, but he also was able to tell of it in such a way that it attracted millions of people worldwide, carried across by his books, to the self-sacrificing exploration of this heavenly promised land.
Their thankful memory of Fr. Seraphim (Rose), their prayers for the repose of his soul are a visible part of the reward which, as we believe, is prepared for him in the Heavenly Kingdom. «Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings» (Isaiah 3:10).
I suggest that readers especially get to know this great ascetic of piety of our age. Several years ago I stayed in Platina, prayed at the grave of Fr. Seraphim and took a series of photographs. There are the monastery with the mountains around it, his cell and personal belongings in front of you. Everything here is truthfully and strictly telling us about him, without further ado or fantasies.
Hieromonk Seraphim lived, grew spiritually and ended his days as a witness to and confessor of our Lord Jesus Christ. Before death he bore agonizing suffering for many hours. But Fr. Seraphim endured his Golgotha without the slightest complaint, with Christian thankfulness, with fortitude and patience. This is just one more, and the final, peaceful instruction of his to us.
Translation by Dimitry Lapa
The Road to the Monastery
Fr. Seraphim’s grave
The old print shop
The Monastery of St. Herman of Alaska