My first time to go to an Orthodox Church was with my wife. She had explained a lot of things about the services to me, but we were not ready for this.
After the Divine Liturgy we have coffee hour, which was almost over. I went back into the Nave to look around at the beauty of the icons and to think about the service I had just experienced. While I was looking at all the glorious icons and walking around I stopped to look at one in particular. All of the candles were out in the church and they had been out for quite some time. As I was looking at this particular icon on the wall, the hanging candle in front of it flickered, lit and started burning. I did not know what to think.
On our way home I asked my wife about that icon, who it was. She wasn’t sure so the next Sunday she found out it was St. Seraphim of Sarov. We checked a book out of the church library about the life of St. Seraphim of Sarov. It opened my eyes and I saw things that I have in common with him such as his gift of being able to communicate with animals.
As time when on I became a catechumen. I studied and felt so much at peace with the church. Something I had not felt in my life. I called my priest, Father Moses, and told him I wanted to be baptized into the church. I told him I felt a great urgency to do so as soon as possible. He agreed and said he felt the same thing. So the date of the baptism was set and I was more than ready.
The Sunday of the baptism had come. On our way to church that morning my wife asked me how do you feel. I said more than ready, excited and happy to become Orthodox.
We arrived at church and I was baptized into the Orthodox Church with the name of Seraphim, adopting St. Seraphim of Sarov as my patron saint. After the baptism service was over, unknown to anyone, one of the church members brought a gift to the church from his sister, who is a professional iconographer from Russia.
The church member said he had the icon at his home for several weeks. He felt very strongly to bring it to church on this very day to present it. It was an icon of St. Seraphim of Sarov.
I was stunned when I saw it, but it shows that the saints are with us all and show themselves through the grace of God. Each and every Sunday during the Divine Liturgy there is a part that says, ‘Blessed is the entrance of Thy Saints’. At that time I can feel the Saints coming to worship God with us. I feel and sometimes hear them praising and singing with us.
May God’s mercy through Jesus Christ continue to shine on each and every one of us.