An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Sergius of Radonezh

(1314-1392). Abbot, mystic, and a patron saint of Russia. Sergius is considered the most popular Russian saint. In 1334 Sergius and his brother went to the forests near Radonezh, north of Moscow, to live in monastic solitude. They were joined by others. A chapel in honor of the Trinity was built in 1334. A community rule was adopted in 1354, and the Monastery of the Holy Trinity developed. Sergius served as abbot. Holy Trinity Monastery became the center for the renewal of Christianity in Russia, and the spiritual heart of Russian Orthodoxy. Holy Trinity became a model for Russian monasticism and a center for pilgrimage. Sergius founded forty monasteries. He refused election to the Patriarchate of Moscow in 1378. Sergius supported and inspired Prince Dmitri Donskoi's victory against the Tartars at the Battle of Kulikovo in 1380. Sergius also stopped four civil wars between Russian princes. Sergius was known for his gentle spirit, his mystical temperament, and his concern for serving the needs of others. His shrine at the monastery of Zagorsk is a center of pilgrimage. Sergius's life is commemorated on Sept. 25 in the Episcopal calendar of the church year.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.