Seraphim was canonized in 70 years after his death in presence of the Russian Emperor Nicolas II and the Royal Family
The Sarov Monastery stands at the confluence of the Sarovka River and the Satis River. The first official name of the monastery consists of the names of both rivers. The name of the city of Sarov goes from the Mordovian language; it means either "a waterlogged place" or "a crotch". News about the monastery spread very quickly, it was already popular when hieromonk Johannes (known as Ivan Popov in the world) headed the monastery. In 1692, in about 1-1.5 years after visiting the Sarov mountain Johannes started digging out a cave on the mountain slope. This is how famous Sarov caves first appeared; the caves survived to our time. Once when Johannes got tired of work and fell asleep he dreamt of visiting the Kiev-Pechora monastery. In the dream, Metropolitan blessed Johannes for further digging of the cave. It was Metropolitan Illarion who had started digging of the Kiev caves.
Starting with 1705, hieromonk Johannes devoted his life to restoration of the Sarov Monastery. Within the period of 1731-1741, Dorofei was the superior of the monastery; at that very time the Assumption Church was built that became the first one made of stone in the city of Sarov.
Reverend Seraphim of Sarov (known as Prokhor Moshnin in the world) is one of the most respected saints in the Russian Orthodox Church; he was born in 1754 in the Russian city of Kursk. He joined the Sarov monastery lay brothers in 1778. In 8 years of studies in the monastery, he was made a monk and was named Seraphim. He was conferred the order of hieromonk. Seraphim withdrew to his hermitage situated 5 miles away from the Sarov monastery where he kept the fast, spent time in work and prayers. Then he took a three-year vow of silence which resulted in absolute seclusion later. When Reverend Seraphim abandoned the seclusion, he received pilgrims for confession, giving admonitions and for curing. On some holy days Reverend Seraphim received up to several thousands of pilgrims. Seraphim of Sarov made much effort to improve and enlarge the Diveyevskaya women's community and transformed it into a special Seraphim-Diveyevskaya community. Seraphim's relics were opened up on July 19, 1903. Seraphim was canonized in 70 years after his death. The canonization ceremony took place in the city of Sarov in presence of the Russian Emperor Nicolas II and the Royal Family. The relics were available for worshippers in the Sarov monastery.
Ten years before the canonization, an order was issued to collect and systematize facts about wonders, miraculous healings and signs worked by hieromonk Seraphim. A list of wonders and healings worked by Seraphim was compiled by 1892 and submitted to a special commission in the city of Tambov for consideration. The commission verified the facts mentioned on the list and issued a new document consisting of 80 instances of miraculous healing worked by Seraphim. In 1895, the protocol was submitted to the synod. However, already by that time monk Seraphim was considered a wonderworker among ordinary people.
The monastery was closed in the 1920s and the relics of Reverend Seraphim were removed to the city of Ardatov where were lost. Only in the year of 1991 the relics were discovered in the stock of the State Museum of the History of Religion situated in St.Petersburg's Kazan Cathedral. In summer of 1991, a religious procession was started to deliver the relics to the Seraphim-Diveyevsky monastery in the Nizhny Novgorod region. As for the Sarov monastery, it was turned into a labor settlement for homeless children in 1928, in the years when the number of homeless children boosted after the Great October Revolution. Labor was chosen as the most effective punishment and treatment there.
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