An American Monk who Became a Hero in Russia - An Eyewitness Reminisces (Seraphim Rose)

"When he died, his face turned this glowing, golden hue"

This article from our archives was first published on RI in October 2017

Editor’s note: Fr. Seraphim Rose (1934-1982) is one of the most famous contemporary monks of our day. The Californian Berkeley grad turned Russian Orthodox Priest-monk’s life story is extraordinary - his works were major for Christianity, and his books are world renown. Many even revere him as a saint - and he’s wildly popular in Russia.

This article gives his short life story (He died aged 49), full of turmoil and ravenous spiritual hunger. Fr. Seraphim first rejected the Protestant Christianity he was born into; then raged against Christianity; and finally, he embraced Russian Orthodox Christianity with the same fiery zeal, dedicating to it his whole heart and life.

Here is a touching video wherein Abbot Damascene recounts how he met the legendary Fr. Seraphim Rose. His first meeting with the saintly monk took place when he was in University in California, and Fr. Seraphim came to him in quite a humble fashion.

He simply "got out of his beat up old pick up truck" wearing his "worn ryassa (robe)" like a modern Saint Seraphim of Sarov.

Abbot Damascene recounts how Fr Seraphim immediately struck him as possessing grace from God, as the famous Hiermonk became his Spiritual Father until Fr. Seraphim's untimely death.

Father Seraphim truly personifies the Orthodox ideal of being "in the world...but not of the World."

Amongst the many otherworldly events associated with him, he tells the tale of a miraculous appearance of Fr. Seraphim which resulted in a Pentecostal to accept the Orthodox Faith, and later become himself a priest.

Father Seraphim is, in our opinion, a modern Saint, though he is yet to be canonized. A chance to hear of the life of this incredibly holy man from someone who knew him is a priceless gift.

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