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Father Seraphim Rose of Platina (Chimev) Icon - S581

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Father Seraphim (Eugene Rose) was born in San Diego, California, in 1934. He was baptized in the Methodist faith, but later lost his faith and became an atheist. In the 1950s, he attended college and delved into Buddhism, art and culture in San Francisco. He also came out as a homosexual.

Eugene was introduced to Orthodoxy through a Finnish-born friend, who at the time was losing his faith. But Eugene was deeply inspired by the Orthodox faith as he delved deeper into it, discovering the transforming power of Christ and his grace. Eventually he completely shed his homosexual identity and was received into the Orthodox Church in 1962, truly reborn and full of zeal.

With the blessing of St. John Maximovitch, Eugene and another Orthodox Christian formed the St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, which focused on Orthodox publishing. The brotherhood would later evolve into a monastery, located in the wilderness near Platina, California. Eugene was tonsured with the name Seraphim, and was later ordained a priest (hieromonk).

Fr. Seraphim wrote prolifically, and his books remain popular throughout the world today. Using Orthodox patristics, he examined many contemporary issues that Christians face. He also gave lectures, some of which were recorded and continue to circulate today. A major focus of his work was the true transformation of the heart by the practices and doctrines of the Orthodox Faith, a transformation that he himself had experienced. His works have been translated into many languages, and in the 1970s and 80s they were smuggled into the Soviet Union, inspiring the suffering Orthodox Christians there. And together with St. John Maximovitch, Fr. Seraphim promoted the knowledge and veneration among Orthodox Christians of many pre-Schism Western Saints. 

While working in his cell, Fr. Seraphim fell ill from the results of a blood clot and died on September 2, 1982. Many who attended his funeral witnessed a beautiful fragrance emanating from his body.

Today Fr. Seraphim is widely venerated as a Saint, both in America and around the world, and many miracles have been attributed to his intercession. He has not yet been officially glorified by any Orthodox Synod, but it is almost certainly just a matter of time. A number of bishops around the world have officially blessed his veneration and refer to him as a Saint.

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