Posts Tagged ‘elderly wise folk’

One of the, you know, good people kind, not the football players. Though, of course, far be it from me to suggest the two don’t overlap.

St. Seraphim of Sarov

I’m gonna be honest about this from the get-go. I’m blogging about a dead white guy because I am nuts about pictures of saints. They are almost always utterly fucking fantastic. Especially icons from the Orthodox Church. So today I am going to talk about St. Seraphim of Sarov, and we’re gonna look at some excellent pictures of the dude.

Here is a brief summation of his life, from my point of view. Mr. Seraphim was a pretty fantastic fellow. A Russian: that’s neat. Kinda super holy. Liked to pray a lot as a kid. He joined a monastery when he turned 18. He went to the woods, where he prayed a lot. Then, things got incredible. He got a pet. A pet… bear.

This Is Art.

That is a picture of St. Seraphim with his pet bear, Misha. I wrote this post so I could put up this picture. Please pay attention to how awesome this picture is, because it really is fucking incredible.

In the woods, St. Seraphim did a lot of bonding with God and fed a lot of animals. Everyone thought he was groovy (because he was), but he didn’t really see anyone. He was a wee bit of a loner. Then one day a bunch of bandits roughed him up in the woods. While he was unconscious on the ground, they went into his hut and only found an icon of the Holy Mother. Then, somehow they were caught. Call me skeptical, but these bandits must have been pretty stupid if they beat up a hermit in the woods and thought they were going to get all sorts of, I don’t know, jewels.  Oh well, let’s not ruin a good story, I wasn’t there.

Anyway, at their trial St. Seraphim came to plead for mercy on their behalf. I can’t find out whether or not they got it, which is a shame. Afterwards he headed over to a rock where he prayed every night for a 1,000 nights with his arms raised up in the air. This is extra noteworthy since St. Seraphim was now a hunchback after the rather devasting injuries resulting from his attack. Again, I kinda wish I had access to the records to see that all of this was legit. But there’s a statue of Seraphim kneeling on his rock in Russia, so I guess somebody somewhere double-checked.

Our St. Seraphim decided it was time to try and help people, and no longer live without much human interaction. He got social and allowed people to visit him. He became renowned for his loving advice and counsel. Tsar Nicholas I tried to have Seraphim join his government, but Seraphim refused, which is also neat. But to be serious, some of his advice was actually very beautiful. This particular saying of his I find very moving:

Acquire a peaceful spirit, and thousands around you will be saved.”

mmm, holy art.

So all in all, I find a lot to like here. Feeding bears. Living in the woods. Pleading for mercy for his attackers. Some stuff about being full of peace. I give him two thumbs up. I’m also kinda completely serious about my adoration for this guy. Gotta find myself a real icon of him somehow. I just fucking love holy art.


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