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Serafim a depus votul monahal în 1786, pe când avea 27 de ani, luînd numele care în ebraică înseamnă "înfocat" sau "arzător." Curând a fost numit [[ierodiacon]]. Serafim a făcut cinste numelui său prin puterea de foc a rugăciunii pe care o avea. Cu excepţia timpului foarte scurt în care se odihnea, restul timpului şi-l petrecea în biserică. Prin nevoinţa în rugăciune şi la slujbele bisericeşti Serafim s-a învrednicit să vadă [[îngerii]] cântînd şi slujind în biserică. În timpul [[Sfintei Liturghii]] din [[Săptămâna Mare|Joia mare]], el L-a văzut pe Însuşi Domnul [[Iisus Hristos]] ca Fiu al Omului intrînd în biserică înconjurat de alaiul îngeresc şi binecuvântînd pe cei ce se rugau. După această vedenie minunată sfântul nu a putut grăi o lungă perioadă de timp.
Hermit=== In 1793, St. Seraphim was [[ ordination|ordained]] a [[ hieromonk]], after which he served every day and received [[ Holy Communion]] for a year. St. Seraphim then began to withdraw into his " farther [[ hermitage]]" —the forest wilderness about five km from Sarov Monastery. He achieved great perfection at this time. Wild animals—bears, rabbits, wolves, foxes and others—came to the hut of the ascetic. The staritsa, i.e., eldress, of the Diveevo monastery, Matrona Plescheeva, witnessed how St. Seraphim fed a bear that had come to him out of his hand: " The face of the great starets was particularly miraculous. It was joyous and bright, as that of an angel," she described. While living in this little hermitage of his, St. Seraphim once suffered greatly at the hands of robbers. Although he was physically very strong and was holding an axe at the time, St. Seraphim did not resist them. In answer to their threats and their demands for money, he lay his axe down on the ground, crossed his arms on his chest and obediently gave himself up to them. They began to beat him on the head with the handle of his own axe. Blood began to pour out of his mouth and ears, and he fell unconscious. After that they began to hit him with a log, trampled him under foot, and dragged him along the ground. They stopped beating him only when they had decided that he had died. The only treasure which the robbers found in his cell was the icon of the Mother of God of Deep Emotion (Ymileniye), before which he always prayed. When, after some time, the robbers were caught and brought to justice, the holy monk interceded on their behalf before the judge. After the beating, St. Seraphim remained hunched over for the rest of his life.
Soon after this began the "[[stylite|pillar]]" period of the life of St. Seraphim, when he spent his days on a rock near his little hermitage, and nights in the thick of the forest. He prayed with his arms raised to heaven, almost without respite. This feat of his continued for a thousand days.