How Saint Seraphim of Sarov Led a Protestant Family to See the Light of the Orthodox Faith

Handpainted icon of St. Seraphim from our Catalogue

Here is a beautiful story about Saint Seraphim upholding the truth of the Orthodox faith in eternity, as told by Metropolitan Veniamin (Fedchenkov).

He was living in emigration in the region of Alsace in France among a large number of Catholics and Protestants. Both communities shared the same church building, where they took turns to hold worship services. One Protestant family whom the Metropolitan knew personally came across a book about the Catholic ascetic Francis of Assisi. The more they read it, the more they questioned themselves about the meaning of true faith. “We are Protestants. But what if the Catholic faith is the true one? With so many religions around, which one holds the truth?”

One day, a young woman from that family was sitting in the garden with a book about Francis of Assisi in her hand. Suddenly, she fell into a shallow slumber and saw Francis of Assisi coming towards her in the company of an elder in a halo. When both men finally reached her, Francis of Assisi said, “Are you looking for the Church that has the truth? That is his church. It helps everyone but never asks them to help it in return.” The woman woke up. She had never seen the elder on an image before. Not surprisingly, she did not know who he was. Somehow, it occurred to her that her vision might have something to do with the Russian Orthodox Church.

Eventually, they hired a worker of Russian descent. They let him occupy a room in their house. One day, as she entered his room by accident, she saw an icon and recognised the elder from her dream.  She asked the man, “Who is on the icon?” “He is our Russian saint, the Venerable Seraphim of Sarov”.

That incident made it clear to the whole family that Russian Orthodoxy was the true faith and that Saint Seraphim of Sarov belonged to it.

To me, this story has a special meaning. It is about the providential encounter with the saint of a family who knew nothing about the Church and was unaware of Saint Seraphim. He entered their lives and has interceded for it ever since.  Saint Seraphim can work miracles by virtue of his closeness to God.

Translated by The Catalogue of Good Deeds

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