The Gifts of Mary

"Soon after Mary's Assumption (of 1830) I visited Father Seraphim. He was alone in his cell. He began to speak about the lives of saints who during their lifetime have been granted different graces, including visions, and had even shared in appearances of the Queen of Heaven.  Unexpectedly he asked me, 'Have you a handkerchief?' I handed him one. He spread it out and placed some small biscuits in it, of a whiteness I had never seen before. 'I have had a visit from a queen, and that is what was leftover.' He said that so merrily and cheerfully, and his face had a transfigured expression such as I could never describe. Then he knotted the handkerchief, gave it to me and said, 'Go home, father, taste a biscuit, and give some to your wife and when you go to the 'orphans' (the sisters at the mill) give each of them three biscuits."

Seraphim is Saint Seraphim of Sarov and this is one of Fr Vasily Sadovsky's, who was chaplain to the community of nuns in St Seraphim's care, many accounts of the wonders worked through the saint who had a particular devotion to this queen being none other than Mary, the Mother of God who had accompanied him throughout nurturing his life.

The taste of the biscuits was apparently extraordinary and they were not the only foodstuff manifested to the saint in his lifetime, each one unique and often harboring a specific message in that 'ikon' of taste for its intended recipient. Reminding us that the saintly is that which is done and seen, rather than said, spoken.


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