St. Seraphim of Labodeia

Saint Seraphim, who struggled on Dobou mountain in Lebadeia in central Greece, was born in the village of Zeli in Boeotia in 1527, and his name in the world was Sotiris. He was the son of pious and virtuous parents, who nurtured him with the living water of the Gospel (John 4:10). From the time he was very little, he was inclined toward the study of the Holy Scriptures and toward the ascetic life. At an early age and despite the temporary refusal of his parents to give their blessing, he went to the monastery of the Prophet Elias on Mount Karkaras, where he built a church dedicated to the Savior Christ, and lived a life of asceticism.

The Saint’s reputation spread quickly, and there were frequent visits by his parents, his friends, and other pious believers, who sought him out so that he might counsel and help them. Because of these distractions, he was obliged to abandon his beloved cave, and so he went to the monastery of the Holy Unmercenaries.

He soon left this monastery as well, and went to the Monastery of the Transfiguration of the Savior on Mount Sagmation, between Boeotia and Euboia. There he quickly shone forth as a spiritual star of the first magnitude, and the igumen tonsured him as a monk with the name Seraphim. Later, he was ordained as a deacon and then as a priest.

Shortly afterward, in order to avoid vanity because of his reputation for virtue, St. Seraphim asked for the Igumen’s blessing to live elsewhere. He left the monastery of his repentance and arrived west of Helicon, at Dobou, where he built a church of the Savior, a few cells, and then he called some monks to dwell near him. He struggled there for ten years, teaching the other monks the saving precepts of the monastic life.

Saint Seraphim reposed in a godly manner at the age of 75, on May 6, 1602, on the Feast of Mid-Pentecost, at 6 o’clock in the afternoon, after foreseeing his own death and partaking of the spotless Mysteries. He performed many miracles during his lifetime.

The Saint’s head and a portion of his holy relics are found in the Monastery of Boeotia which is named for him. Another portion of the Saint's holy relics is honored at the Agathonos Monastery at Phthiotis in central Greece.