This blog has been resurrected as a place for me to post updates and photos during my time here in Russia. I have just arrived at the Holy Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius and will be staying here throughout Great Lent and Pascha. Afterwards I hope to visit Diveyevo monastery and venerate the relics of St. Seraphim of Sarov. May God grant the blessing.
Meanwhile here at the Lavra of St. Sergius I am blessed to begin getting to know some of the monastic fathers. There are some 200 monks now in the monastery. With the hundreds of visitors, workers, students, and teachers, it is like living in a small village, but with the most beautiful cathedrals and choirs.
Winter is still with us. There is snow on the ground and there was a light snow in the early morning. Now it is grey, cold, and wet as the snow begins to melt. Whatever the weather, the Lavra is beautiful and full of the grace of God through the prayers of the people and the relics and intercessions of the saints within these walls. It is such a blessing to be able to venerate St. Sergius’ relics on a daily basis. Another gift of grace is found in the relic of the right hand of St. Stephen, the Proto-martyr and Deacon. I feel this very personally as the first church that I planted many years ago (in Cupertino, CA) is dedicated to St. Stephen. May we all have his blessing. — Fr. Seraphim