September 25, 2015

St. Seraphim of Vyritsa and the Woman who had 18 Abortions

There once lived in Leningrad a woman with her husband. Both were physicians. During World War 2 they were both at the front. Her husband really wanted to have children, but she did not. She had undergone eighteen abortions. Eventually her husband left her and found another woman.

When she returned to Leningrad after the war she could not find work. She did not even have a home to live in, since her previous house belonged to her husband. Literally she was homeless. As a member of the communist party she appealed to various organizations, but no one anywhere helped her. Despair overcame her so much that she thought about committing suicide.

One day, while walking on the road, she met a friend of hers that she knew from the war. Her friend asked her about her life, and when she learned of all her problems she informed her that in Vyritsa lived an old man who helped many people and could predict the future.

The physician thought her friend was speaking of some magician and so she decided to visit, thinking she had nothing left to lose. In Vyritsa she found the home of the Elder. Those who were there asked her:

"Do you want to see the priest?"

When she heard this, she became very irritated.

"What do you mean priest? Do you think I'm crazy to deal with priests?" she yelled, and she ran out.

On the road her legs became paralyzed and she was unable to walk. She sat on the side of the road and burst into tears, cursing everyone and everything, including the friend who sent her to see the priest. Though she cursed, she was unable to stand, as her feet would not do what she wanted.

From the house of the Elder a woman emerged and finding the woman she said to her:

"The Elder is asking for you."

She flatly refused to go inside. The woman approached her again, saying:

"Your name is N., you are an ophthalmologist, you just got back from Germany, and the Elder is asking for you."

When she entered his cell she saw the old monk lying down on his bed. He told her that all that had befallen her was her fault, because she killed her children. The woman understood that the Elder knew her entire life and she fell on her knees before his bed crying. He immediately comforted her, saying:

"Go to Smolny, where they will appoint you to be responsible for the clinic of Petergkof and they will give you a room to stay. Then you will return to Leningrad and live there. You will visit me here and later you will visit my grave."

"What kind of fairy tales is he telling me?" thought N.

"I am not telling you fairy tales. Everything I am telling you will come to pass," said the Elder in response to her thoughts.

Indeed she went to Smolny, where she was appointed in the clinic of Petergkof and was given a room. Later she returned to Leningrad. She became very faithful and reached deep old age, and until the end of her life frequently visited the grave of the Elder in Vyritsa.

Source: Βίος – θαύματα – προφητείες του Αγίου Σεραφείμ της Βίριτσα – Νέου Αγίου της Ορθοδ. Ρωσικής Εκκλησίας (1866-1949), Εκδόσεις «Ορθόδοξος Κυψέλη», έκδοση Α’ 2003. Translated by John Sanidopoulos.