St. Seraphim was born in Kursk into the Moshnins merchant family in 1754. He dreamed of monastic life from early childhood and in 1778 left for the Sarov hermitage (now the Nizhninovgorod district) where he spent the rest of his life in service to God.
According to church tradition the saint's was marked by selfless monasticism and the gift of astuteness and miraculous healing power that benefited both the physically and the spiritually ill.
After his death on January 15, 1833 St. Seraphim of Sarov became especially revered and was canonized a saint in 1903. Thousands of pilgrims including Czar Nicholas II and his family flocked to the Sarov hermitage and to the Seraphimo-Diveevsky monastery to take part in the canonization ceremony.
The 100th anniversary of St. Seraphim's canonization was commemorated in Russia last year at the national level.
Celebrations in memory of St. Seraphim will continue in 2004, the 250th anniversary of his birth.