One of the many endearing stories of St. Seraphim of Sarov was a small act of devotion he engaged in during his years as a hermit. The area around his hermitage was designated by him with Biblical place-names. Thus one place was Jerusalem, another Bethlehem, etc. Thus did the great saint transform the trees and rocks and every path by taking it up into the Biblical story. His every action outside his hut was thus also an act of pilgrimage, a reminder of the mighty acts of God for our salvation.
As I am pretty much confined to home most of the time, it occurred to me as I read this that I can designate certain areas of the house as different Biblical places. Now why didn’t I think of this before?! I already have groups of Icons set up in nearly every room of the house, so those places will be easy. I certainly have enough icons that are not hung up to make more areas. So that makes the rest easy, too. I could designate areas without Icons, I suppose, but Icons make the areas more “holy” to my mind. Even one would do.
The next thing is, what “places” should I have? Only Biblical? I’d like to remember Cappadocia, the home of so many Saints and Martyrs. I’d like to remember Kiev – the site of the Baptism of Rus’. And what about Sarov? And Kodiak Island?
Home – my chair – Nazareth – St. Joseph, Theotokos, Christ, Mt. Athos
The Altar – the buffet – Jerusalem – Christ, Evangelists
The entryway – Bethlehem – Theotokos, St. Joseph
Prayer Corner – Sarov – St. Seraphim of Sarov
Bedroom – Cappadocia – St. Macrina the elder, St. Basil, St. Basil the elder, St. Emmelia, St. Macrina the Younger (the Nun), St. Basil the Great, St. Gregory of Nyssa, St. Peter of Sebaste, St. Gregory Thaumaturgus; also a place to remember our particular Saints: St. Theodore Tiron and St. Elizabeth, mother of the Forerunner.
Dining Room – Cana – The Wedding at Cana;
Kitchen – Bethesda – Sts Mary and Martha; also St. Euphrosynos the Cook
Laundry / Pantry – Monastery of the Caves-
Family Room / Den – Kiev – St. Vladimir
Office – Nicea – St. Nicholas, St. Alexander of Alexandria;
Library – Alexandria – St. Mary of Egypt; St. Cyril of Alexandria; St. Clement of Alexandria; St. Alexander of Alexandria;
Storage Room – Ethiopia – St. Moses the Black
Workshop – Kodiak Island – St. Herman of Alaska
I will have to ask my priest about this, but it seems to be both feasible and Orthodox. And I know the Ol’ Curmudgeon won’t have any kind of problem with it.
More about this concept later, as I work on it and see if and how it works.