Olet täällä

St. Sergei – a peacemaker

St. Sergei of Radonezh, who saw a vision of the Holy Trinity and talked with angels, is one of the most widely venerated of the saints of Northern Russia, along with St. Seraphim of Sarov.

Although both men have a wealth of colourful legends attached to them, we can also say that they both represent a crystallization of one of the essential Christian values: they were both peacemakers.

Prince Dmitri Donskoi visited St. Sergei on three occasions before entering battle against the Tatars in 1380 in the hope of gaining the saint’s blessing for his campaign, but finally, at the third visit, he was told, “I will not bless you when you go to war, but go now, and with God’s help you will defeat the enemy.”

St. Sergei was a man of peace, a true mystic who brought to Russia the Hesychastic tradition of quiet meditation, silence and composure that had been developed by the Church Fathers in Greece out of the mysticism of the Jews.

On his feast-day we can truly experience the quietude and peace of Orthodox mysticism within the Holy Liturgy, for which we are obliged to “lay aside all earthy cares”.

Once we have done this we are able to concentrate on the task that our Saviour, himself an outcast from his home town of Nazareth, left for us.

Remembering the sick, the suffering, the oppressed, those persecuted for their faith and those in prison, we can “with one mouth and one heart glorify His holy name”.

 

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