Place and time of birth
For certain it is not known when and where the future saint was born. His disciple Epiphanius the Wise in the life of the monk speaks about this in a very intricate form. Historians face a complex problem of interpreting this information. As a result of studying the church writings of the XIX century and dictionaries it was established that the birthday of Sergius of Radonezh is most probably on May 3, 1319. True, some scholars are inclined to other dates. The exact location of the birth of the boy Bartholomew (also called the saint in the world) is also unknown. Epiphanius the Wise indicates that the father of the future monk was Cyril, and his mother was called Mary. Before moving to Radonezh, the family lived in the Rostov principality. It is believed that the Monk Sergius of Radonezh was born in the village of Varnitsa in the Rostov region. At the baptism the boy was given the name Bartholomew. His parents named him after the apostle Bartholomew.
Childhood and the first miracles
In the family of Bartholomew's parents there were three sons. Our hero was the second child. His two brothers, Stefan and Peter, were intelligent children. They quickly learned the grammar, learned to write and read. But Bartholomew did not study at all. No matter how much his parents scolded him, nor did the teacher try to reason, the boy could not learn to read, and the holy books were inaccessible to his understanding. And then a miracle happened: suddenly learned the letter of Bartholomew, the future Saint Sergius of Radonezh. His biography is indicative of how faith in the Lord helps to overcome any life difficulties. The wonderful teaching of the young man to read and write in his "Life" Epiphanius the Wise. He says that Bartholomew prayed long and hard, asking God to help him learn to write and read in order to know the Scriptures. And one day, when Father Cyril sent his son to look for grazing horses, Bartholomew saw under an old man's tree in a black robe. The boy with tears in his eyes told the saint about his inability to teach and asked to pray for him before the Lord.
What else was noted in childhood by the Monk Sergius of Radonezh in the stories of Epiphanius the Wise? The disciple of the saint informs that even before the age of 12 Bartholomew observed strict posts. On Wednesday and Friday he did not eat anything, but on other days he ate only water and bread. At night, the boy often did not sleep, devoting time to prayer. All this was the subject of a dispute between the boy's parents. Maria was embarrassed by these first feats of her son.
Transfer to Radonezh
Soon the family of Cyril and Mary was impoverished. They were forced to move to a house in Radonezh. It happened approximately in 1328-1330. There is also a reason for the impoverishment of the family. This was the hardest time in Russia, which was under the rule of the Golden Horde. But not only the Tatars then plundered the people of our long-suffering homeland, imposing it beyond their control and making regular raids on settlements. The Tatar-Mongol Khans themselves chose which of the Russian princes to rule in this or that principality. And this was no less a test for the entire people than the invasion of the Golden Horde. After all, such "elections" were accompanied by violence against the population. This is often told himself Sergius of Radonezh. His biography is a vivid example of the lawlessness that was going on at that time in Russia. The Principality of Rostov was given over to the Grand Duke of Moscow, Ivan Danilovich. The father of the future saint gathered and moved with his family from Rostov to Radonezh, wanting to protect himself and his loved ones from robbery and want.
When the birth of Sergius of Radonezh was for certain, it is not known. But we got accurate historical information about his childhood and youth life. It is known that, while still a child, he prayed earnestly. When he was 12 years old, he decided to take monastic vows. Cyril and Maria did not object to this. However, they made a condition for the son: he should become a monk only after their death. After all, Bartholomew became the only support and support of the old. By that time, the brothers Peter and Stefan had already acquired their families and lived separately from the elderly parents. Shortly it was necessary to wait for the child: soon Cyril and Maria have died. Before their death, they, according to the custom of that time in Russia, took first a monastic vows, and then scum. After the death of his parents Bartholomew went to the Khotkovo-Pokrovsky Monastery. There he received a monastic tonsure his brother Stefan, who was already widowed by that time. Shortly there were brothers. Seeking "strict monasticism", they founded a desert on the bank of the river Konchury. There, in the middle of the deaf Radonezhsky boron, in 1335 Bartholomew erected a small wooden church, named after the Holy Trinity. Now in its place is the cathedral church in the name of the Holy Trinity. Brother Stephen soon moved to the Epiphany Monastery, unable to withstand an ascetic and too harsh way of life in the forest. In the new place, he will then become hegumen.
Serving the Fatherland
Sergius of Radonezh made a lot of useful and kind for his homeland. The 700th anniversary of his birth is celebrated this year. DA Medvedev, as president of the Russian Federation, signed a decree to celebrate this memorable and significant for the whole of Russia date. Why is this significance given to the life of a saint at the state level? The main condition for the invincibility and inviolability of any country is the unity of its people. This was very well understood in due time by Father Sergius. This is also evident to our politicians today. It is well known about the peacekeeping activity of a saint. Thus, eyewitnesses claimed that Sergius in meek, quiet words could find the way to the heart of any person, to work on the most fierce and rude hearts, urging people to peace and obedience. Often the saint had to reconcile the warring sides. So, he urged the princes of the Russians to unite, throwing aside all the disagreements, and submit to the authority of the prince of Moscow. This subsequently became the main condition for liberation from the Tatar-Mongol yoke. Sergius of Radonezh made a significant contribution to the victory of the Russians in the Battle of Kulikovo . It is impossible to briefly talk about this. Grand Duke Dmitri, who later received the nickname of Donskoy, came to the saint before the battle to pray and ask him for advice, can the Russian army oppose the ungodly. The Horde Khan Mamai assembled an unthinkable army to once and for all enslave the people of Russia.
The monasteries of the saint
The year of Sergius of Radonezh is celebrated in 2014. Especially great celebrations on this occasion should be expected in the temples and monasteries founded by him. In addition to the Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra, the saint erected the following monasteries:
• Blagoveshchensky in the town of Kirzhach in the Vladimir region;
• Vysotsky monastery in the city of Serpukhov;
• Staro-Golutvin near the city of Kolomna in the Moscow region;
• St. George Monastery on the river Klyazma.
In all these monasteries the disciples of the holy father Sergius became abbots. In turn, the followers of his teachings founded more than 40 monasteries.
The life of Sergius of Radonezh, written by his disciple Epiphanius the Wise, tells that in his time the rector of the Trinity-Sergius Lavra performed many miracles. Unusual phenomena accompanied the saint throughout his entire being. The first of these was due to his miraculous birth. This is a story of the wise about how a child in the womb of Mary, the mother of a saint, shouted three times during the liturgy in the temple. And it was heard by all the people who are in it. The second miracle is the teaching of Bartholomew's boy to read and write. It was described in detail above. It is also known about such a diva connected with the life of a saint: the resurrection of the youth with the prayers of Father Sergius. Near the monastery lived a righteous man who had a strong faith in the saint. His only son, a young boy, was mortally ill. The father in his arms brought the child to the holy abode to Sergius, so that he prayed for his recovery. But the boy died while his parent stated his request to the abbot. The inconsolable father went to prepare a coffin to put his son's body in him. And St. Sergius began to pray earnestly. And a miracle happened: the boy suddenly came to life. When a grief-stricken father found his child alive, he fell at the feet of the saint, praising.
Old age and death of the Monk
The life of Sergius of Radonezh shows us an unprecedented feat of service to God and the Fatherland. It is known that he lived to a very old age. When he lay on his deathbed, anticipating that he would soon appear at the judgment of God, he last called on the brethren for instruction. His disciples, he urged, first of all, "to have the fear of God" and to bear people "sincere and sincere love without hypocrisy." The dean died on September 25, 1392. He was buried in the Trinity Cathedral.
Veneration of the Monk
There is no documented evidence of when and under what circumstances people began to perceive Sergius as a righteous man. Some scholars are inclined to believe that the rector of the Trinity monastery was ranked among the saints in 1449-1450. Then, in the letter of Metropolitan Jonah to Dmitry Shemyake, the primate of the Russian Church calls Sergius the Reverend, ranking him as miracle workers and prelates. But there are other versions of his canonization. The Day of Sergius of Radonezh is celebrated on July 5 (18). About this date is said in the writings of Pachomiya Logofet. In them he narrates that on that day the relics of the great saint were recovered.
Temples in honor of the Monk
One of the most revered saints in Russia since ancient times is Sergius of Radonezh. His biography abounds with the facts of selfless service to God. Many temples are dedicated to him. Only in Moscow there are 67 of them. Among them are the temple of Sergius of Radonezh in Bibirevo, the cathedral of Sergius of Radonezh in the Vysokopetrovsky monastery, the temple of Sergius of Radonezh in Krapivniki and others. Many of them were built in the XVII-XVIII centuries. There are many churches and cathedrals in various areas of our Motherland: Vladimirskaya, Tula, Ryazan, Yaroslavl, Smolensk and so on. There are even overseas monasteries and sanctuaries founded in honor of this saint. Among them, the church of St. Sergius of Radonezh in Johannesburg in South Africa and the monastery of Sergius of Radonezh in Rumia, Montenegro.
Images of the Reverend
It is worth remembering also a lot of icons created in honor of the saint. The most ancient image of him is a sewn cover made in the 15th century. Now he is in the sacristy of the Trinity-Sergius Lavra.
Sergius of Radonezh. A brief biography of him is unlikely to be able to tell what an outstanding man he was, how much he did for his Motherland. Therefore, we dwelled in detail on the biography of the saint, information about which was taken primarily from the works of his disciple Epiphanius the Wise.