In 1971, almost half a century ago, whilst still a priest, Abba Seraphim published his first major book on Julius, Bishop of Iona, which was “An investigation of the claims of Jules Ferrette (1828-1904)”. His cousin and predecessor, Metropolitan Georgius referred to the book as having been written with a “thoroughness and industry which does him credit” and stated, “Father Seraphim’s book is a ‘must’ for all interested in the establishment of Western Orthodoxy, and his painstaking scholarship cannot be too highly commended. “
Although his original research led to the discovery of a large collection of letters written by Bishop Julius to Père Hyacinthe Loyson during 1896-1902, from which he made copious references, in this second revised edition these having been translated into English, are now published in full. In the years following its publication, Abba Seraphim continued his research and in 1980 he published in the Glastonbury Bulletin, after a lapse of 114 years, his discovery of Foreign Office correspondence with the Archbishop of York which threw new light on Ferrette’s consecration. In 2006 & 2017 he also wrote about Bishop Julius in his Flesh of our Brethren, an historical examination of Western episcopal successions originating from the Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch. In his preface to this new edition Abba Seraphim also recounts his personal contacts with modern Syrian Orthodoxy. The first edition – which although not now generally available – is still referred to online as a significant historical resource, comprised 64 pages, whereas this new edition is now six times longer.