ENGLISH VERSION: A New Miracle of Fr. Seraphim (Rose)
When the faithful gathered at the St. Herman Monastery on the twenty-second anniversary of Fr. Seraphim's repose, among them was an American Orthodox convert, Celia Yentzen, who had recently experienced a miraculous healing through Fr. Seraphim's intercessions. Celia came with her husband David, also a convert. On September 4, 2004, two days after the anniversary gathering, Celia sent the monastery the following account of her healing, which had occurred less than two months earlier:
This letter is to testify to a miraculous healing that I received while visiting the St. Herman of Alaska Monastery in July 2004.
During the summer of 1996, when I was twenty-four years old, I suffered a cumulative trauma back injury from sports, from which I never fully recovered. I was never able to run again, and had pain and stiffness when either walking or sitting for more than twenty to thirty minutes. Later that year, X rays confirmed some mild degenerative changes that were beginning to occur in my lower spine, despite how young I was. My father has Degenerative Disk Disease (DDD) of the lower spine. After many years without relief from my pain, DDD was my presumed fate as well, although at such an early stage there was no real way to confirm a diagnosis. In the past eight years, 1 have tried many types of treatments, from "TENS" electric stimulation treatments to physical therapy, prescription medications, ointments, and various exercise programs. None of these attempts worked for me. I went to sleep each night in pain.
For eight years, my pain had never relented; I had grown accustomed to living with it daily. I had to give up the running that I loved so much, buc I've always been grateful to be otherwise healthy and able to walk without too much hindrance, despite the presence of pain.
In July 2004, my husband David and I made a pilgrimage to the St. Herman of Alaska Monastery in Platina, California. While there, we went to Fr. Seraphim Rose's grave site to pray. At one point during our silent prayers, David put his hands on my back and continued to pray. I did not know what he was praying for, but knowing David, I guessed that he might be praying for my back. (I have always been embarrassed at how much I allowed back pain co interfere in David's and my life, and had always hoped that I would be better at daily tasks without him knowing that I was in pain.) Upon thinking that David might be praying for relief of my pain, I said a very small prayer; "Fr. Seraphim, I know my husband loves me very much to pray for my relief, but truly, I do nor deserve to have such a lofty request answered. I'm fat, far too selfish."
David later told me, "What I asked Fr. Seraphim for was his intercessions not necessarily for a total cure, but that you would have ar least a reduction of your chronic pain so that you could better manage daily life."
The next morning, July 8/21, as we were preparing to leave the monastery, I noticed that 1 had an unusually easy time carrying my bag uphill from the guest house. In the days that followed, I began to notice that I was consistently waking up each morning with no trace of pain, and that pain would not develop during the day, no matter how strenuous the day's tasks were. Since becoming Orthodox, I had never consistently been able to do a full bow (metanoia) without bending my knees and bracing my back by pushing my hand against my leg. A few days aftet we left the monastery, while saying our morning prayers, when going to do a series of metanoias, 1 touched the ground with my knees straight with complete ease and no pain for the first time! In shock at realizing what I had just done, I immediately looked at my husband with complete surprise! David was overjoyed. We knew then that David's prayers had indeed been answered. We sang prayers of Thanksgiving to Fr. Seraphim for his intercessions, and sang an Akathist of Thanksgiving to God.
One day, a couple of weeks later, in response to the joy I was be ginning to feel at this new life, I decided to go running, as I had so loved to do before I was hurt. I walked three miles, and sprinted for half a mile! I felt no pain, and awoke the next day with no pain. I haven't experienced such freedom of movement in so many years!!
Even as I write this, I am still with no pain; I ran a mile a few days ago. In the six weeks since I left the monastery, I have been pain-free, except for only a very brief moment as a consequence of carrying a nearly thirty-pound backpack of groceries for a mile! But as David reminded me, he didn't ask for a total cure, only that I would receive relief so that I could live normal daily life without hindrance; and that is exactly what I have received!
Glory to God for all things, and endless thanks to Blessed Father Seraphim for his miraculous intercessions!
"The Orthodox World",
No 238, 2004