Prokhor Isidorovitch Moshnin, who later took the name Seraphim, was born in central Russia into a trading family. In his youth his father died and at the age of 15, Seraphim went to the famous monastery of Caves at Kiev, later entering the Sarov monastery in the Oka region as a novice. He was ordained a monk in 1786 and a priest in 1793. The following year he built himself a little hermitage in the forest where he spent ten years in the most austere conditions, feeding wild animals by hand. He was left crippled after a savage attack by robbers.
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