St. Seraphim of Sarov
Orthodox spirituality has produced many holy and famous men, but none in recent centuries to compare with Seraphim, staretz of the monastery of Sarov. After an initial period as a monk, working with the community, he was led to become a hermit, living deep in the forest in a world of solitude which was only destroyed when he was attacked by brigands. He returned to the community and in 1825, after fifteen years in silence, he began to receive visitors again and to spend his energies in their spiritual direction. By means of his faith and asceticism he performed a number of miracles. His fame and humility brought a steady stream of visitors, religious and royalty alike, to him for advice. His humility and concern for people made Sarov a center of pilgrimage until the events of the 1917 revolution. Zander has constructed this biography from the notebooks of people who knew him, the nuns whose spiritual director he became, the people whose lives he influenced, and the clergy who sought his advice. She adds to this information her own recollections of pilgrimages to Sarov before 1917. The life of the staretz is told with a touching simplicity which allows his life and work to be their own witnesses.All four books help to illumine the spiritual tradition so faithfully embodied in St Seraphim.