Church of Saint Seraphim of Sarov

Over the course of the past one hundred years, the Christian face of the world has changed in many ways. In some places it has become obscured, eroded by relentless secularization; in other places, it has, on the contrary, become clear, deeper and more significant.

Often we do not even realize how much more comprehensively and seriously we see many of the things that a century ago went unnoticed and misunderstood by our great-grandfathers. Unquestionable merit in it belongs to one of our most beloved saints, Saint Seraphim of Sarov – or rather to his small conversation, recorded for us by Nikolai Motovilov. Our spirit is seized by the simple and wise words, which are completely soaked through with the salt and meaning of Christianity. The testimonies of the countless saints of the past two thousand years are made discernible with the new strength and lucidity contained within the simple words of St. Seraphim about the goal of Christian life. Addressing directly to Nikolai Motovilov, the monk, in actuality, sends his revelation to the whole world. Therefore, the entire conversation takes on extraordinary importance. Explaining the essence of Christianity, the experience of communion with God, the Saint, as if in focus, collects it into the short but capacious words "On the acquisition of the grace of the Holy Spirit." The amount of strength and conviction contained in those words is miraculous; for they have become both a revelation and a reason for people to turn to God – people from every corner of the world, from different countries far from Russia in terms of place and culture. And it explains the fervent and sincere love people everywhere have for St. Seraphim. Translated into every language of the world, the words of the Saint can be found in the most remote corners of the earth.

Churches and monasteries dedicated to St. Seraphim of Sarov are being built. This, of course, testifies to the deep love people have for him and to his unique worldwide significance. And here, in Cyprus, it is already difficult to find a church wherein an icon or fresco depicting this Saint will not be present. Many books about him have been published in Greek. A Service commemorating the Saint has also been composed in the Greek language. In 2001, near the village of Skouriotissa, The Holy Hesychasterion of St. Seraphim of Sarov in Skouriotissa was established. The hesychasterion commemorates the Saint twice every year, on January 2 and July 19. Services are conducted in both Greek and Russian. Until recently, all services had been conducted in a small home church at the hesychasterion.

We deliberated the need to build a larger church for a long time. The answer, we believe, came from St. Seraphim, when the Russian Church gifted a fragment of the relics of St. Seraphim to the Metropolis of Morphou for the Hesychasterion of St. Seraphim. The blessing of the Saint can be perceived through this priceless gift. A decision was thereby made to build a large (by Cyprus scale) church, capable of accommodating 100 people.

The project was based on the traditional Byzantine cross-dome plan of the church, an example of which can be seen in the Church of the Holy Trinity at the Holy Monastery of St. John Chrysostom in Kutsoventi, located 15 kilometers from Nicosia, in the Turkish-occupied territory. The choice of the construction technology for the church is noteworthy – it was decided to use traditional stonework, which is very rarely used today, as it is time-consuming, but is indeed more durable and reliable.

Finding specialists capable of implementing this technology in our times was not an easy task. Higher educational institutions do not teach modern construction enginners how to erect buildings made entirely of stone. Thank God, there is such a person in our team - Alexander Ruiz, an Orthodox from France. He is a specialist in medieval construction technologies with extensive experience in restoring and rebuilding stone churches.

On January 2, 2010, the Feast day of St. Seraphim of Sarov, His Eminence, the Metropolitan of Morphou, Neophytos laid the cornerstone for the construction of the new church in honor of St. Seraphim at the Hesychasterion.

During the Service for the Placing of the Cornerstone, the Metropolitan reflected that the presence of the Russian archimandrite and iconographer Ambrose in Cyprus unites Russian Orthodoxy with the Church of Cyprus by highlighting the ecumenical nature of the Orthodox faith. He also declared, “All of us who partake of the Resurrected Christ are brothers, regardless of our origins. All our native Orthodox countries have suffered enough from nationalism. Now it is time to unite around our Saints, and when we have indeed united around them, regardless of our nationality, then God sees our Orthodox mindset and helps both the peoples and our home countries. This way we transgress the national borders of the churches and through the prayers of Saint Seraphim we enter the One Church, which is truly Holy and Catholic, as we profess in the Symbol of our Faith.”

Over the past seven years, with the help of God through the prayers of St. Seraphim, many problems that arose during construction have been resolved. The project is at the final stage. On July 18, 2017, the eve of the Feast day of the Uncovering of the Relics of St. Seraphim of Sarov, His Eminence, the Metropolitan of Morphou, Neophytos celebrated the Service of the Service of The Opening of the Doors (Thyranoixia) of the newly-constructed church of Saint Seraphim. A great number of faithful from the Morphou diocese, other parts of Cyprus, and other countries took part in the ceremony, as well as the subsequent All-Night Vigil, which was led by Metropolitan Neophytos, accompanied by the Abbot of the Holy Hesychasterion, Archimandrite Ambrose and other clergymen from the diocese. It is important to note that the construction of the church is a means of gathering people around the Lord. Many believers have helped and continue to help in the construction of the church; some take part in the construction, some donate money, some provide support through prayer. And through it all, the Church is revealed as the community of faithful, those called by the Lord.

Anyone can take part in the completion of the construction of the church. Please contact Archimandrite Ambrose for information by phone: +357 99 524283.

If you would like to make a donation towards the construction of the St. Seraphim church in Cyprus, our account details at the Bank of Cyprus are:

Account number: 357030495298
IBAN: CY64002001950000357030495298

See construction photo history of the church...

Holy Hesychasterion of Saint Seraphim of Sarov IMM