At the invitation of His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, concelebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Novo-Diveevo Stavropegial Convent of the Holy Dormition, Nanuet, NY on the Sunday of All Saints, June 3, 2018.
Concelebrating with Metropoiltans Tikhon and Hilarion were His Grace, Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan [ROCOR] and His Grace, Bishop Irinej of Eastern America [Serbian Orthodox Church]. His Grace, Bishop John of Naro-Fominsk, Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA, joined the other hierarchs for the procession and the blessing of a new monument dedicated to Saint Seraphim of Sarov that followed the Liturgy.
The monument was installed near the entrance to the convent’s main Cathedral of Saint Seraphim of Sarov, in which an icon of the Vladimir Mother of God—a gift to the convent’s founder, the late Bishop Andrei of Rockland, from Elder Nektarios of Russia’s Optina Pustyn Monastery—as well as two icons of Christ that had belonged to Tsar Nicholas II and a cross from the Ipatiev House in Ekaterinburg, where the members of Russia’s last royal family were martyred, are enshrined.
The new monument is a gift from Russia’s “Dialogue of Cultures—One World” Foundation, presented with the aim of strengthening the spiritual ties between the Moscow Patriarchate and ROCOR, as well as cultural ties between Russia and the United States.
“Once, still during his lifetime, Saint Seraphim of Sarov addressed the Orthodox and said that when we have a disturbance in our heart, we can go to him even after his death at his grave and speak with him,” Metropolitan Hilarion said in reflecting on the spiritual significance of the monument. “And now the people can come here, sit in quiet and pray, and ask for help, as to the living.”
“Today, as we gather to honor Saint Seraphim in this holy place, we thank God for the miracles of faith and renewal all around us,” Metropolitan Tikhon responded. “We are especially thankful for the renewal of monastic life at Diveevo, Russia; for the finding of the relics of Saint Seraphim and their presence now at Diveevo, and for the freedom to be witnesses to the Risen Christ in America.”
Located an hour north of New York City on over 40 acres of land, the convent was founded in October 1949 by Father Adrian Rimarenko (later Archbishop Andrei of Rockland). The convent’s name—“Novo-Diveevo”—recalls the Diveevo Women’s Monastery in Russia that was closely associated with Saint Seraphim during his lifetime. During the Soviet era, the monastery had been closed and desecrated, while its nuns were driven out, exiled, and martyred. It was subsequently returned to the Church and fully restored. Novo-Diveevo was established in an effort to preserve the living memory and tradition of Saint Seraphim and Diveevo. Over the years, the convent has been home to many nuns from various parts of the world. The convent is home to many sacred icons artifacts, among which is a full length portrait of Saint Seraphim painted during his lifetime.