700th Anniversary: Acquisition of the Holy Relics of St Sergius of Radonezh

On July 18, 2014 the Russian Orthodox Church commemorated the 700th anniversary of the acquisition of the holy relics of Saint Sergius of Radonezh.

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Saint Sergius of Radonezh (Russian: Се́ргий Ра́донежский; 14 May 1314 – 25 September 1392), was a spiritual leader and monastic reformer of medieval Russia.  Together with Venerable Saint Seraphim of Sarov, he is one of the Russian Orthodox Church’s most highly venerated saints.

St Sergius Reliquary

The relics of the Monk Sergius of Radonezh(+ 1392) were uncovered on 5/18 July 1422 during a time when the Monk Nikon (+ 1426) was Igumen (Monastery Abbot).  In the year 1408, when Moscow and its surroundings suffered invasion by the Tatar Horde of Edigei, the Trinity Monastery was devastated and burnt, and the monks headed by Igumen Nikon hid themselves in the forests, saving the icons, sacred vessels, books and other holy things connected with the memory of the Monk Sergius. In a vision by night on the eve of the Tatar incursion the Monk Sergius informed his disciple and successor about the coming tribulations and foretold in consolation, that the vexation would not be prolonged but rather that the monastery, arising from the ashes, would flourish and grow even more. Going through its own fiery cleansing, the monastery of the Life-Giving Trinity was resurrected in the length of days, and the Monk Sergius himself rose up, so that forevermore his holy relics should dwell within it.

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There was a procession from Khotkovo Monastery (Moscow region), the place of repose of the saint’s parents (Sts. Kirill & Maria) to the main Russian Orthodox Monastery of Saint Sergius Lavra in Sergiev Posad.  Tens of thousands of people from all over Russia and the former USSR joined the 15 km procession ending in open-air services and liturgies.

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Holy Saint Sergius of Radonezh, pray to God for us!

2 thoughts on “700th Anniversary: Acquisition of the Holy Relics of St Sergius of Radonezh

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