Skete of St Seraphim of Sarov

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 There is no Orthodox faithful who hasn’t heard the name of this loving Sarov hermit. With his self-sacrificing love he wholeheartedly gave in to the fit of serving his mislead brothers, tirelessly endeavoring to revive, warm up, heal and save the cold and darkened souls. His heart, open to all that came to him in their troubles, was like an open embrace; his mild and gentle words  a soothing balm that brings closer to God; his prayer- a tireless interceding for this sinful world. Undoubtedly, being such a volcano of love, he was a real example for the Bigorski brothers who, guided by their Abbot, Fr. Parthenius, took upon themselves the fit of love and hospitality, fully engaging in the mission of serving others. Therefore, governed by God’s providence, the brothers wanted this dear Elder to be their praying interceder before our Lord and invested all their immense love for St. Seraphim of Sarov into a wonderful idea for the new skete, in which the church dedicated to the Great Miracle worker of Sarov has already been built. Namely, the Bigorski fraternity decided that the day of St. Parthenius, Bishop of Lampsacus, who loved the majestic beauty of the church and dedicated himself to building sanctuaries, should be the starting point for the construction works on the new sanctuary. Thus, on February 7/20, 2008, after the Divine Liturgy, the brotherhood and sisterhood together with the great number of present faithful and headed by, the Debar-Kichevo Metropolitan Timothy, and our guest – the Metropolitan of Povardarie, Mr. Agathangel, went in a litany to the place where the foundations for the new, Russian style church were consecrated; a small monastic logging is also to be built here in near future.

Consecration of the cross for the St. Seraphim church

The Elder of Sarov himself also blessed this God pleasing deed with an amazingly rare and most valuable gift – His sacred relics. They were a gift for the Bigorski monastery from Archimandrite John from the Russian monastery of Christ’s Resurrection within the Russian Church Outside Russia (ROCOR); and most deserving for this great present is sister Dragica Veljanovska, a devout faithful, and old friend of the monastery, a spiritual child of Archimandrite Parthenius. After her departure for the United States, she offered years long service in the Skete of the Holy Christ’s Resurrection, and when she shared with Fr. John her impressions about the Holy Bigorski Monastery, telling him about everything the brotherhood there does, about their effort, sacrifice and love, and particularly about the skete and the future church in honor of St. Seraphim of Sarov. So, enlightened by God, Fr.  John decided to donate a part of the relics of this Russian saint, which sister Dragica brought with  herself to the Bigorski Monastery.

Archimandrite Parthenius received the relics in front of the main monastery gate and together with the brotherhood, sisterhood and the present believers in a litany headed towards the skete where the sanctuary dedicated to St Seraphim of Sarov was supposed to be build. With a great piety, gratitude and prayers towards the Saint, asking for his interceding in front of God, the Akathistos hymn was read and all of the present were given the honor to venerate his holy relics. Then, again in a ceremonial procession, the relics were returned to the monastery and were placed on the Holy Table inside the altar of the church.

When I shall no longer be with you, come to my grave, come whenever you have time, the more often – the better.

 Saints are always with those who seek their prayerful intercession, especially through their holy relics. St. Seraphim, while still alive, confirmed this with his own words:

When I shall no longer be with you, come to my grave, come whenever you have time, the more often – the better. Whenever something burdens your soul, and makes you feel bad, whatever happens to you; just come to my grave, prostrate yourselves on the ground, and tell me as if I’m alive; I will hear you and your grief will go away! Talk to me as to alive person and I will always be alive for you! That is the legacy which this wonderful ascetic left to the Orthodox faithful, while preparing to leave this Earth and pass to his heavenly residence.