September 2 is the anniversary of the repose of Hieromonk Seraphim (Rose) of Platina, who died on that day in 1982, making this the 39th anniversary of his repose.
See our Special Resource Page on Fr. Seraphim Rose, newly updated for 2021.
This year, September 2 approached with uncertainty and apprehension, as wildfires in northern California forced the evacuation of St Herman of Alaska Monastery in Platina and St Xenia Skete for women in Wildwood (also co-founded by Father Seraphim). Though the nuns were able to return to their skete fairly quickly, the monks had to wait at St John's Monastery in Manton as the flames threatened their beloved and historic monastery. Updates and prayer requests were shared via social media as the flames drew ever nearer to Platina.
|A firetruck parked outside the monastery gate at St Herman of Alaska in Platina CA|
Thanks to the protection of the Mother of God, the prayers of the saints, and the tireless and creative labors of the firemen (who established a controlled burn area to protect the monastery), the fires were finally stopped a scant 100 yards from St Herman of Alaska Monastery, and the Platina fathers were able to return to celebrate both the Feast of the Dormition, as well as the anniversary of Blessed Father Seraphim's repose a few days later.
In thanksgiving for the deliverance of St Herman's Monastery and St Xenia Skete, I have posted some new resources and links on our Father Seraphim Rose Resource Page, so be sure to explore that, newly updated for 2021, and with extensive materials, articles, videos and more dating back many years.
Below are a couple of photos and link to a major story on the deliverance of Platina at OrthoChristian.com.
For those who do not know and have perhaps never been to Platina, the outdoor altar on which the Divine Liturgy is being celebrated is actually the canopy over Blessed Hieromonk Seraphim's grave. This outdoor, open-air altar has been improved and beautified in recent years, and is open for pilgrims to venerate Blessed Father Seraphim and seek his intercessions year round.
ST. HERMAN’S BROTHERHOOD RETURNS FROM EVACUATION IN TIME FOR DORMITION AND ANNIVERSARY OF FR. SERAPHIM (ROSE)
Platina, California, September 6, 2021
OrthoChristian.com | Photos by Fr. Thaddeus Hardenbrook
|Bp. James of Sonora serves the Divine Liturgy for the anniversary of the repose of Fr. Seraphim (Rose) with Abbot Daamscene (right) and Hieromonk Paisy (left).|
After remaining in evacuation for more than a week due to the wildfires in northern California, the monks of St. Herman of Alaska Monastery in Platina were able to return home in time for the feast of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos, and for the anniversary of the repose of the brotherhood’s co-founder Blessed Hieromonk Seraphim (Rose).
The monks were forced to evacuate on August 16, with the majority of the brotherhood staying at the Monastery of St. John of San Francisco in Manton.
The associated St. Xenia Skete in nearby Wildwood was already evacuated earlier in August, though it suffered no damage and the sisters had already returned.
|Fr. Paisy reads the Gospel during the Divine Liturgy.|
Fr. Seraphim is beloved and revered throughout the Orthodox world.
The Liturgy in honor of Fr. Seraphim was celebrated by His Grace Bishop James of Sonora (Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia), who knew Fr. Seraphim personally. Vladyka and the brotherhood were also joined by visiting clergy and pilgrims.
A message on the monastery website reads simply: “Glory to God and His Most Pure Mother for protecting the monastery! Thank you, firefighters! Thank you for your prayers.”