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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Saint Seraphim the Struggler of Mount Domvu (+ 1602)

St. Seraphim the Struggler of Mount Domvu (Feast Day - May 6)

Saint Seraphim of Livadeia, or Seraphim the Struggler of Mount Domvu, was an ascetic and miracle worker from the area of Mount Dombos of Livadeia in Greece.

He was born in 1520 and his parents were respectable and pious Christians who raised Seraphim accordingly. From a young age, he had a calling to the monastic life. One tradition says that his mother noted that he would not breastfeed on Wednesdays and on Fridays.

As a child, he was educated in the holy writings by the village teacher and this inspired a burning desire for him to pursue monasticism. He left the world early to pursue his ascetical vocation living in a cave at the Prophet Elias on Mount Karkara. There he built a chapel dedicated to the Savior and spent his time in asceticism. However, he had frequent visitations from family and friends so he left this beloved cave and fled to the Monastery of the Holy Unmercenaries (Anargyroi).

He did not spend much time at this monastery for the same reasons, and left for the Monastery of the Transfiguration of the Savior, located between Thebes and Evia. At this monastery, his ascetical works made him shine as a spiritual star, and the abbot of this monastery quickly made him a monk and this is where he was given the name "Seraphim".

With the permission of the abbot, he left this monastery in order to avoid the reputation he was developing for his virtues and moved further west to a place called Domous. There he built another temple dedicated to the name of the Saviour, and some cells, and a community of monks quickly formed.

Seraphim stayed at this location for 10 years, working on virtuous projects, and teaching students lessons in salvation and the Gospel. He spent the rest of his life as a hermit and foretold his own death. He was 75 years old when he peacefully reposed in the Lord on May 6, 1602 halfway to Pentecost in the sixth hour.

For the longer life, see here (in Greek).



Monastery of Saint Seraphim

The Monastery of Saint Seraphim was built towards the end of the 16th or beginning of the 17th century.

It is located near the mountain Paliovouna of Helicon, in south-west Boeotia near the coastal locations Zaltsa and Karahalios. Administratively it belongs to the Monastery Koroneia.

The katholikon of the Monastery is dedicated to the Transfiguration of Christ. In the vestibule of the church is the tomb of Saint Seraphim. Daily visitors come to venerate the Saint and seek healing, while leaving valuable offerings. The Monastery is stavropegic as shown by the synodical letter of Patriarch Cyril Lukaris from 1638). The iconostasis and icons are particularly beautiful.

During the Greek Revolution of 1821, George Kara was often found here with his lads. It is a male monastery and only men are allowed within.

Every year on May 6th crowds of people gather to the Monastery to celebrate the feast of Saint Seraphim, and seek his aid.

Απολυτίκιο. Ήχος γ'. Θείας πίστεως.
Θείον βλάστημα, της Βοιωτίας, έμπνουν όργανον, της εγκράτειας, ανεδείχθης Σεραφείμ άξιάγαστε· συ γαρ Όσιων βαδίσας τοις ίχνεσιν, άρτιφανώς εν τω κόσμω έξέλαμψας· Πάτερ Όσιε, Χριστόν τον Θεόν ικέτευε, δωρήσασθαι ημίν το μέγα έλεος.
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