In wake of the steps of the Mother of God in Diveyevo
Fr. Alexander Gumanovsky (a spiritual son of Father Zosima, who was himself a spiritual son of St. Seraphim of Sarov) begins a his letter with a quote from Fr. Zosima:
…I forgot to give you a piece of advice vital for salvation. Say the o Hail, Mother of God and Virgin one hundred and fifty times, and this prayer will lead you on the way to salvation. This rule was given by the Mother of God herself in about the eighth century, and at one time all Christians fulfilled it. We Orthodox have forgotten about it, and St. Seraphim has reminded me of this Rule.
”There is a rule of St Seraphim to Diveyevo , which must be performed, namely, to walk aroud the “ditch” (that is, the path around the convent) three times with prayer-rope in hand, and say the prayer “Virgin Theotokos” (Hail Mary) one hundred and fifty times and the “Our Father” one hundred and fifty times, then to pray for all your relatives and acquaintances, both living and dead. After this, you can state your most heartfelt, most necessary desire, and it will be fulfilled without fail.” (Is a quote, “A Journey to Sarov and Diveyevo in 1926” by Ivan M. Andreyev)
The prayer rule of St. Seraphim of Sarov
“Let any Christian, upon arising from sleep stand before the holy icons, and read the Lord’s Prayer “Our Father” thrice, in honor of the Most-holy Trinity, then the hymn to the Theotokos “O Theotokos and Virgin, rejoice…” three times as well, and finally, the Symbol of Our Faith once. Having completed this rule, let each one attend to the tasks to which he was appointed or to which he is called.
“During work at home or while traveling somewhere, let him quietly read “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.” If there are others in his vicinity while he is working, let him silently repeat “Lord have mercy,” until supper.
“After supper, upon completing his tasks, let him quietly read “Most Holy Theotokos, save me a sinner,” and let him repeat this until falling asleep.
“Going to bed, let any Christian again read the above-mentioned morning rule. Thereafter, let him go to sleep, having protected himself with the sign of the Cross.” Fr. Seraphim said “Keeping this rule, it is possible, to reach Christian perfection, for the three prayers indicated are the foundation of Christianity. The first, as the payer given [to us] by Christ Himself, is the model for all prayers. The second was brought from Heaven by the Archangel to greet the Virgin Mary, the Mother of Our Lord. The Symbol [of our faith] contains in brief all of the salvific dogmas of the Christian Faith.”
To those who for whatever reason could not complete this little rule, Venerable St. Seraphim recommended reading it under whatever circumstance: during lessons, while walking, and even in bed. He based this advise on the words of the Scriptures “whosoever should call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved…”
Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Virgin Theotokos, rejoice! Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb; for thou hast borne the Savior of our souls.
Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.
Most Holy Theotokos, save me a sinner.