On Monday, November 24, the Feast of the Montreal
Iveron Myrrh-streaming Icon of the Theotokos, His Grace Archbishop
Seraphim (previously of Geneva and Western Europe) reposed
in the Lord.
Vladyka's repose was a result of a reoccurence of his
cancer: a tumor appeared in his bladder, and the disease spread
very quickly to his bones. On Sunday, the tumor burst
and he bled profusely, and that weakened him too much for
him to be able to regain any strength. The medical personnel
assured us that it was truly God's mercy, because had
he lingered on with the bone cancer the pain would have been
Vladyka had been feeling poorly for the past month or so,
but ascribed it to old age and some sort of flu.
The first indication that there was something more serious
was at the time of the Liturgy of St. James. Usually
Vladyka would prepare for weeks in advance, but this year,
when we asked him a few days before the service what his plans
were, he admitted that he had forgotten about it entirely.
He nevertheless prepared everything necessary for the service,
and preached a beautiful sermon about the Prophet Daniel (it
was his custom to preach on the Old Testament, reading at
the Liturgy), though he admitted to being absolutely exhausted
He celebrated the Liturgy for the last time on November
9th and preached on the prayer "Only-Begotten Son"
and the life of the Emperor Justinian. On the following
Monday he helped us move to our winter chapel, and then spent
most of the following week in bed.
On Friday, November 14th, he let us know that he did not feel
well enough to celebrate nor even attend the services that
weekend, and asked us to make a doctor's appointment
for him on Saturday. He refused to be hospitalized, but
was supposed to be taken in for tests on Monday. During
the night of Sunday, November 16th, he fell trying to
get out of bed. He ended up calling the fire department and
they took him to the hospital. Vladyka was slightly
better on Tuesday and began to receive visitors. He
received Holy Communion on Thursday and Saturday, when we
were informed that his condition had taken a turn for
the worse and that it was doubtful that he would live
Matushka Abbess Macrina and several sisters visited
him on Sunday afternoon. He was weaving in and out of
consciousness and very groggy from heavy medication, but we
nevertheless hoped to take him home on Monday, at least for
the last few days. But God willed otherwise; at 2:30
am, Vladyka passed away.
May his memory be eternal!
The schedule for Vladika Seraphim's funeral is
On Wednesday, November 26th, Divine Liturgy at 7:00 am
at Lesna Convent and the monastic funeral service (in
accordance with Vladyka Seraphim's will) at 1:00 pm.