Synod of UOC canonizes Ven. Seraphima, Abbess of Korets

Korets Holy Trinity Monastery. Photo: monasteries.org

The decision to sanctify the first abbess of the restored Korets Convent, Seraphima, was made on December 6, 2019, at the final meeting of the Holy Synod.

The Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church sanctified St. Seraphima, Abbess of Korets, who labored at Korets Holy Trinity Stauropegial Monastery in the late 15th and early 16th centuries.

Information about the life of Seraphima Koretskaya can be found in many historical books. In fact, it is known for certain that the future abbess of the monastery was born in a noble family of the Korets princes. At that time, the monastery, founded in 1069 by the hegumen of the Kiev Pechersk Monastery Varlaam, was often subjected to devastating attacks. The monastery was burned by the Tatars more than once: first the soldiers of Batu Khan, and in the 15th century – of Khan Mengli-Girey. According to historical sources, it was the Koretsky princes who began to restore the monastery, in which the first abbess became the second daughter of Akim Koretsky and Anna Khodkevich, Sofia, after the tonsure – Seraphima.

It was the year of 1579. Times were troublesome: adoption of the Brest Union, persecution of the Orthodox. Those who did not want to become a Uniate were killed. Representatives of the nobility were taken to Warsaw, where they were subjected to various tortures and demanded to renounce their faith. Orthodox churches were destroyed, burned, leased to mosques, taverns and pubs.

The Korets nunnery was the only monastery that survived as the Orthodox center and where people, who had preserved the faith of their ancestors, flocked from everywhere.

The Koretsky princes accepted the conditions of the Commonwealth and became Uniates. After the abdication, Prince Ivan became Jan-Karl and in recognition of the new faith brought out the icon of the Virgin Mary “Warrantress of the Sinful” and the shroud of the Virgin from his prayer room.

Abbess Seraphim took these shrines and carried them in the cross procession to the Korets monastery. According to legend, she cried a lot and pled her brother to change his mind, because she foresaw a big trouble. And so it happened: the brother was doomed to childlessness and the family of the Koretsky princes ceased to exist.

During her administration of the monastery, Abbess Seraphim completely restored the monastery, established a shelter for orphaned girls, resumed painting workshops, dome gilding, wood gilding, as well as workshops for sewing robes, mitras.

In 1620, mother Seraphima began the construction of a new large monastery, since the Ascension shrine did not accommodate all the nuns who sought to work at the monastery. The main philanthropist and patron of construction was Metropolitan Peter Mogila. So the Holy Trinity Convent was founded, which operates to this day.

Abbess Seraphim donated all her property and the fortune of her mother to the monastery.

The first abbess of the Holy Trinity Nunnery died in 1627. The burial ceremony was performed by Metropolitan Peter Mogila.

As reported by the UOJ, the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church established a celebration in honor of the Vily Icon of the Mother of God “Sign”. A miraculous image resides in the ancient church of the Rovno diocese of the UOC and has healed hundreds of laity from all over Ukraine only in modern times.

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