An Extraordinary Peace St. Seraphim, Flame of Sarov

An Extraordinary Peace

St. Seraphim, Flame of Sarov

By Archimandrite Lazarus Moore

“When I am dead, come to me at my grave, and the more often the better.  Whatever is in your soul, whatever may have happened to you, come to me as when I was alive, and kneeling on the ground, cast all your bitterness upon my grave.  Tell me everything and I shall listen to you, and all the bitterness will fly away from you.  And as you spoke to me when I was alive, do so now.  For I am living and I shall be forever.”

Available from Anaphora Press.

A 13th Century Vision By An Unnamed Nun (A Translation)

As I knelt by the Crib of our Lord at Bethlehem I saw a most beautiful Maiden, covered with a white mantle and a robe of fine texture.  The time of her delivery seemed to be at hand.  A venerable old man accompanied her.  An ox and an ass were with them.  When they had come into the cave, and the old man had tethered the ox and the ass to the manger, he went out and returned with a lighted torch which he fastened to the wall, and then he went out again so as not to be present at the birth of the Child.

Then Our Lady laid aside her white mantle, took off her shoes from her feet and the veil from her head, so that she was clad only in her light robe.  Her beautiful gold hair hung down over her shoulders.  Then she took out two linen cloths and two woolen ones, very clean and white, to wrap the Child in as soon as He was born, and two smaller pieces of linen to swathe His head.  When all things were prepared Our Lady knelt down with her back against the manger, her face uplifted and turned eastward.  Her hands were raised, her eyes fixed above, her whole being absorbed in ecstatic contemplation, bathed in heavenly rapture.  And in a moment as she prayed she had given birth to her Son, from whom shone a light so great and so wonderful that the rays of the sun cannot be compared to it.  The torch brought by St. Joseph seemed to be extinguished, so far did that Divine Light outshine all light which is of earth.  The Infant was born so suddenly, so instantaneously, that I did not see how it happened.  I only saw the Divine Child lying naked, white and shining on the ground.  Then I heard the most wonderful singing of Angels.

When Our Lady, whose form was extremely delicate, slender and graceful, saw that her Child was born, she bent her head, folded her hands, and adored the Infant with the deepest reverence and devotion.  Then the Child began to weep and tremble with cold on the hard ground where He lay.  He moved a little and stretched His tender limbs as though He desired the comfort of His Mother’s caresses.  The Mother took the Child in  her arms, pressed Him to her heart, and warmed Him against her face and bosom with great gladness and tender motherly pity.  Then she sat down on the ground, laid the Child on her lap, and began to swathe Him very carefully.  First she wrapt Him in linen and then in the woolen cloths, binding His tender body and little arms with the swaddling bands which were sewn to the four corners of the outer woolen cloth.  The she wrapt and bound His head in the two smaller linen cloths which she had laid beside her.  When all this was done the venerable old man came in again, and falling on his knees adored the Child with tears of joy.  Then the Virgin rose with the Infant in her arms, and she and St. Joseph together laid Him in the manger and worshipped Him with great joy and gladness of heart.

About Fr. Lazarus Moore

Fr. Lazarus is widely regarded as one of the great missionaries and scholars of the 20th century.

An Orthodox missionary priest serving Palestine, Transjordan, India, Greece, Australia, California and Alaska, he translated the Psalter, the Four Gospels, the Ladder of Divine Ascent, the Arena, the Old Jordanville Prayer Book, the Life of St Seraphim of Sarov, and countless other manuscripts and services before his repose in +1992+.

Fr. Lazarus was born Edgar Moore in Swindon, England, on October 18, 1902. At eighteen he moved to Alberta, Canada and worked as a shepherd, longshoreman, farm laborer and on the railroad. It was here, in Canada, Fr. Lazarus experienced a profound spiritual awakening and heard “a call from God” to become a missionary.

With God’s calling in his heart, Fr. Lazarus returned to England to study at St Augustine’s, an Anglican missionary college in Canterbury, England, for five years. He was ordained deacon in the Church of England in 1930 and in 1931 ordained Anglican priest.

Fr. Lazarus became interested in travel, and his ongoing conversion took him to India in 1933 where he joined the Christa Seva Sangha, an Anglo-Indian brotherhood with an ashram at Poona. Studies in church history and tradition brought him to the Holy Land and Mount Athos where his desire to embrace Orthodox Christianity flowered.

Fr. Lazarus communicated with Russian hierarchs and visited Serbia, received by Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky) into the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR), which at that time was centered in Sremsky Karlovsky, near Belgrade.

At Milkovo Monastery, before being ordained by Archbishop Feofan in January of 1936(?) to the priesthood, Fr. Lazarus became a monk. His heart and mind deepened in the Orthodox Church and he was assigned to the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission which is in Jerusalem, at the Convent of St. Mary Magdalene on Gethsemane.

Two martyred saints, Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna of Russia and her fellow nun Varvara Yakovleva are buried in the church. Fr. Lazarus worked closely with the Abbess, Mother Mary (Robinson) and Mother Mary (Sprott), also converts from Anglicanism. He taught at the school at Bethany (in Palestine) which was maintained by the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission. Here he completed a first draft for The Life of St. Seraphim.

But then war broke out.

Battle and the ensuing social chaos forced Fr. Lazarus and his small community of St Mary’s to flee, on foot, through the desert to Transjordan.

Following the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, the newly-founded state of Israel handed the property of the convent to the militant-atheist government of the Soviet Union, essentially dissolving the mission and convent.

Fr. Lazarus then lived in the Transjordan area for one year and in 1952 returned to India, helping a group of non-Chalcedonian Syrian Orthodox in Malabar, South India, who had approached the Russian Synod seeking admission into Chalcedonian Orthodoxy.

Fr. Lazarus stayed in India for the next 20 years.

He helped in missionary work, translating lives of the saints, Church services, writing and serving God with all his heart, mind and soul amid poverty, disease and political and social tumult.

He broadcast radio sermons, laboring under extreme conditions of heat, bouts of malaria, and incredible isolation. Much of his translation work from Slavonic and Greek into English was completed and published during this time, often in the magazine Orthodox Life put out by the Jordanville monastery in New York.

Here Fr. Lazarus translated the Old Jordanville Prayer Book, the Arena, the Ladder of Divine Ascent and numerous other manuscripts. He labored with an old, manual ribbon-style typewriter transferring precious spiritual words page by page. He often had to curtail his labors because the electricity would go out.

Because black cassocks were culturally offensive to local residents, Fr. Lazarus wore a white cassock during this time. And it was during this period, in India, he met Ghandi and Mother Gavrilia, the ascetic of love.

In 1972, Fr. Lazarus was summoned to Greece, where he labored and contemplated settling for good but in 1974, he was called to serve Australia. Here, his efforts over an 8 year period blossomed into what is today the thriving, beautiful Orthodox Mission of Holy Cross.

During his time in Australia, Fr. Lazarus sought canonical release from the Russian diocese and was accepted into the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Antioch.

In 1983, Fr. Lazarus received an invitation from Fr. Peter Gillquist to come and live among the Evangelical Orthodox Church in America to help them transition from Protestantism into canonical Orthodoxy.

Fr. Lazarus accepted, and by 1987, several thousand individuals were received into the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese. Fr Lazarus lived in Santa Barbara for five years, a beloved elder and teacher for the thriving St. Athansius church where he touched many lives.

But by 1989, his health began declining and he moved to the community of St John’s Cathedral in Eagle River, Alaska. Here, Fr. Lazarus shared the last years his life helping the community of St John’s transition to Orthodoxy.

On November 27, 1992, Fr. Lazarus fell asleep in the Lord. On the fourth day after his repose, he was buried in St John’s Cathedral cemetery. A clear sign of the Resurrection, the snowy, Alaskan landscape was miraculously thawed to reveal brightly-springing green turf.

Three bald eagles flew overhead.

Fr. Lazarus left us “traveling with angels.” Through his labors as monk, priest, translator, teacher, friend and author, countless souls were and still are today nurtured in love for and by God.

Glory to God!

Manuscripts and Publications

This list is a digital copy of a typed list created by Fr. Lazarus himself and excludes nearly forty years (1947 to 1992) of translation work, original manuscripts, speeches and more. Excerpts from Fr Lazarus’ translations and manuscripts, many previously unpublished, may appear on this website as we compile forthcoming anthologies.

Published works and translations of Fr. Lazarus include:

1) The Ladder of Divine Ascent by St. John Climacus (1959)
2) The Jordanville Prayer Book (1960)
3) On the Prayer of Jesus by Bp. Iganatius Brianchaninov (1965)
4) The Psalter ( 1966)
5) The Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete
6) The Arena by Bp. Ignatius Brianchaninov (1970)
7) An Indication of the Way into the Kingdom by St. Innocent of
Alaska
8 ) Tradition in the Church (booklet from Light and Life)
9) Law and Grace (booklet from Light and Life)
10) Baptism As Thirty Celebrations (booklet from Light and Life)
11) St. Seraphim of Savov by Archimandrite Lazarus Moore
(New Savov Press 1994)
12) An Extraordinary Peace, St. Seraphim, Flame of Sarov by
Archimandrite Lazarus Moore (2009)

Fr Lazarus’ translations into English, as of January 1947 include:

1) The Ladder of Paradise, by St John Climacas

2) Ancient Patrology (selections: actually about half the original)

3) Philokalia (selections, including over 100 pages of St Cassian; and from the Russian 5th tome: St Nicephorus the Solitary, St Gregory Palamas, St Simeon the New Theologian, Maxim Kapsokalivit and St Gregory the Sinaite)

4) Some Aspects of Orthodox Prayer (collection of passages on Prayer from the writings of the Holy Fathers, Saints and Teachers of the Church)

5) Indication of the Way into the Kingdom of Heaven, by St Innocent of Alaska

6) Catechism

7) Dogma of Redemption

8 ) Confession

9) Conversation between Orthodox Priest and a Uniat Greek Catholic

10) Conversations of a Christian with a Moslem about the Holy Trinity

Akathists

11) To Our Sweetest Lord Jesus

12) For Holy Communion

13) To the Most Holy Mother of God

14) To the Holy Myrrh-bearer Mary Magdalene

15) To the Holy and Life-creating Spirit

16) To St Nicolas

17) To St George

18) To St Panteleimon

18 a)To the Trinity

18 b) To Martha and Mary

Canons

19) Great Canon of St Andrew of Crete

20) Short Canon of Repentance

21) Canon to the Most Holy Mother of God (Annunciation)

22) To the Venerable and Life-giving Cross of Christ

23) To Our Lord Jesus Christ 

24) For Holy Communion

25) To the Guardian Angel

25 a) To the Mother of God (Ordinary)

25 b) Easter Canon

26) Mental Activity, by Abbot Hariton of Valaam

Lives of Saints

(mostly translated from the Menology of St Dimitri of Rostov):

1) St Ephrem the Syrian

2) Passion of Holy Martyr Perpetua

3) Holy Martyr Dorothea

4) St Cassian

5) 40 Martyrs of Sebaste

6) St Gregory the Dialogist

7) St John of the Ladder

8 ) St Mary of Egypt

9) St George

10) Sts Constantine & Helena

11) St Cyril of Alexandria

12) St Andrew of Crete

13) Sts Simeon, Fool for Christ’s Sake & John His Co-Ascetic

14) St Mary Magdalene

15) St Panteleimon

16) St Gregory the Sinaite

17) The Assumption of the Mother of God

18) The Nativity of the Mother of God

19) The Passion of the Holy Martyrs of Faith, Hope & Love & their Mother Sophia

20) St Thekla

21) St Sergius of Radonesh

22) St Hariton the Confessor

23) St John the Theologian

24) St Andrew, Fool for Christ’s Sake

25) St Dionysius the Areopagite

26) St Thomas

27) St Martin

28) St Lazarus Four Day

29) St Luke

30) St James, Brother of Our Lord

31) St Dimitri of Rostov

32) Sts Cosmas & Damian

33) St Abraham the Hermit & his Niece St Mary

34) St Gregory Palamas

35) St Andrew, Fool for Christ’s Sake

36) St Katharine

37) St Seraphim of Sarov (full life)

38) St Joasaph of Belgorod

39) St Onuphrius the Great

40) St Marina

41) St Elias

Short Articles

42) “The Ikon of the Virgin Mary”

43) Rabaiyat Baptised – an Indian poem

44) Preparation for Holy Communion by St John of Kronstadt

45) 12 Articles on the Most Holy Sacrament by St Dimitri of Rostov

46) The Eminence of the Achievements of Monkhood

47) A Spiritual Guide

48) Divine Love

49) From “The Story of Christ” by Giovanni Papini

50) Extracts from St Theodore the Studite, St Augustine, St John Moschus

51) Appendix to “The Degrees of the Spiritual Life by Abbe A. Saudreau

52) The Spirit of Prayer by St John of Kronstadt

53) Extract from the Holy Fathers of the Church on Prayer

54) On the Prayer “Let us the Cherubim” by Met. Antony

55) The Sign of the Cross

56) “My Life in Christ” by St John of Kronstadt

57) Surrender Not Resignation

58) Sermon in French on the occasion of his nomination to the Episcopal Dignity by Met. Antony

59) Article on Jesus Christ “From the Governor of Judea to the Roman Emperor

60) A Vision of the Most Holy Mother of God

61) 3 short articles on the Holy Virgin, Mother of God

62) Two Prophecies revealed by Jesus Christ to His disciples on the Mount of Olives

63) Errors of the Roman Catholic Church

64) Christmas Play by St Dimitri of Rostov

65) Indian Poems.

Work is also underway writing the biography of Archimandrite Lazarus Moore. We appreciate any stories, letters, and/or photos you might have. Please send them via email to Archlazarusmoore@gmail.com or through snail mail:

The Fr. Lazarus Moore Foundation
P.O. Box 1664
Port Townsend, WA 98368