Sergius of Radonezh

English Language Study for Russian Orthodox Learners

Venerable Sergius of Radonezhaudio button
(September 25/October 8)

Sergius of RadonezhSergius of Radonezh, “the Abbot of the Russian Land,” is one of our most beloved saints.  His life is an example of great humility, love for God and service to people.  

Saint Sergius was born Bartholomew to a devout couple.  In his childhood Bartholomew was different from other boys.  He was very quiet and thoughtful, and spent most of his time praying and fasting.  Bartholomew from an early age knew that he would become a monk.  He took care of his old parents until they died, then gave all his possessions to his younger brother, and left home.  Bartholomew looked for a place where he could be alone and pray.

Far from Radonezh, in the forest, the young man found the place that would become his home.  On a hill, he built a hut and a church of the Holy Trinity.  In 1342 Bartholomew took monastic vows and was given the name Sergius.

For many years Saint Sergius lived alone.  He experienced much hardship:  hunger and want in everything.  Very often, wild animals wandered to his hut, and Sergius shared his last piece of bread with them.  Constant prayer and hard work helped him survive.  Later, other monks came, built their huts and settled there.  They asked Sergius to become the abbot of their monastery.  Although an abbot, Venerable Sergius worked as a simple monk:  he baked bread, made shoes and clothes, carried water, grew a garden and chopped wood.

For his faith in God and love for people, the Lord gave Sergius the gift of working wonders.  The Saint healed people and brought a dead boy back to life.  Once, the Most-Holy Virgin, together with the apostles Peter and John, visited Sergius in the church when he was praying.

People heard about the miracles of Saint Sergius and often came to him for advice and prayer.  Prince Dmitry received a blessing from Venerable Sergius before the battle on the Don River.  In the most difficult times for Rus, the Saint came to help.

Venerable Sergius continues praying for us now, and will always be our holy helper and protector.  Our Church commemorates Holy and Venerable Sergius on October 8th (new calendar).

Bartholomew [ba: ′θͻ lǝm ju:]

Словарь к тексту

venerable, adj.  [ˈvenərəbl]  преподобный
abbot, n.  [ˈæbət]  игумен
humility, n.  [hjuˈmɪlətɪ]  смирение
fast, v.  [faːst]  постовать, поститься
hut, n.  [hʌt]  хижина
want, n. нужда
wander, v.  [ˈwɔndəʳ]  бродить
share, v.  [ʃeəʳ]  делиться
survive, v.  [səˈvaɪv]  выживать, выжить
settle, v.  [ˈsetl]  селиться, поселяться
gift of working wonders  [′wǝ: kɪŋ ˈwʌndəʳs]  дар чудотворца
wonderworker, n. [′wʌndəʳ ˈwǝ: kə]  чудотворец             
the Most-Holy Virgin  [ˈvəːdʒɪn]  Пресвятая Дева