Icon of St. Ven. Seraphim of Sarov (hagiographical, 29th cent.)

Icon of St. Ven. Seraphim of Sarov (hagiographical, 29th cent.)
/upload/iblock/7b1/64e07b90dd965fc28b27cce95431a776.jpg Icon of St. Ven. Seraphim of Sarov (hagiographical, 29th cent.)
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St. PRP. Seraphim Of Sarov


 
Direct print on linden panel.
The icon is kept in A. Rublev's Museum of Ancient Russian Culture and Arts. 
There are numerous hagiographical icons of Ven. Seraphim, kept both in churches and private collections. The life scenes on an icon would be placed and should be 'read' horizontally, from left to right, and reflect the Saint's entire life, from birth to tonsure to ascetic deeds, temptations, repose and miracles worked. Naturally, an icon would contain certain spiritual highlights reflecting special moments in the Saint's life.  
The middle part of the icon depicts the Saint wearing a mantle, epitrachelion, and epimanikia. Of special interest is the upper row of life scenes. It contains the icon of Theotokos "Tenderness", which was particularly venerated by the Saint and kept in his cell, and the Vernicle icon of the Saviour symbolizing His Original Image given to men by the Saviour Himself. In St. Seraphim's hagiographical icon, nearly every life scene can be considered a separate icon itself. 

Venerable Seraphim of Sarov (secular name: Prokhor Moshnin) was born on July 19, 1754 to a pious merchant's family. Once as a child he became very sick, and the Mother of God appeared to him in a vision and promised he would be cured. When a Cross Procession with an icon of Theotokos 'The Sign' passed by their house, his mother had him kiss the icon, after which he recovered. From his early years, the boy came to love prayers and church services. As a youth, he decided to devote himself to God and retire to a monastery. His mother gave her blessing for that. After receiving a blessing from Elder Dositheos, Prokhor left for the Sarov Hermitage, where, after 8 years as a novice, be became a monk and received the name of Seraphim. During the Liturgies, Venerable Seraphim was blessed with the vision of graceful Angels, and once he visioned Christ Himself, surrounded by the Heavenly Host. Some time after that, he retired into a thick forest to become a hermit. He spent years in outstanding ascetic deeds. In order to fight persistent prolonged temptations, he undertook 'pillar asceticism,' praying on his knees for 1,000 days and nights on a rock. Once he was attacked by robbers and severely beaten by them, after which he remained bow-backed for the rest of his life. In his deep humiliation, he did not oppose the attackers. After undertaking the feat of silence and reclusion, he was blessed with the Elder's role. Venerable Seraphim was the founder of the Diveevo Convent. St. Seraphim reposed in 1833.

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