All-Russian festivities devoted to the 100th anniversary of the canonising of St Serafim of Sarov - the miracle worker, one of the saints most respected by Orthodox Christians - open on July 29 at Diveyevo and Sarov, Nizhny Novgorod region, on the Volga. For the Russian Church this anniversary is the main event of the year.
As RIA Novosti was told at the organising committee of the festivities, on July 30 Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexis II will consecrate a temple in honour of St Serafim and conduct a divine liturgy.
On July 31, Russian officials are expected to arrive at Sarov. A prayer service will be held in the square, with the patriarch taking the lead.
On August 1 - on the day of the anniversary - the patriarch will conduct a divine liturgy at the Serafim-Sarov monastery. Sergei Kiriyenko, a presidential envoy to the Volga Federal District, and Nizhny Novgorod regional governor Gennady Khodyrev are scheduled to speak.
St Serafim of Sarov was born in 1754. From childhood he dreamed of being a monk and in 1778 joined the Sarov hermitage where he spent the rest of his ascetic life.
According to church legend, he became famous for his gift of insight and miraculous cures of people from physical and mental diseases.
After dying on January 15, 1833 Serafim became particularly revered and was ranked among the saints in 1903.