Thousands of Russian Orthodox pilgrims and clergy have begun four days of celebrations the mark the 100th anniversary of the canonization of Saint Seraphim of Sarov - one of the Russian Orthodox Church's most venerated saints.

The celebration opened Tuesday in the rural village of Diveyevo, where the relics of Saint Seraphim were taken from his namesake monastery.

The relics will be carried to the town of Sarov, were Patriarch Alexy II will consecrate a new cathedral on the site where Saint Seraphim once lived and prayed.

Saint Seraphim, who died in 1883, was canonized in 1903.