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Pathway: Main page arrow Articles arrow Referats and texts collection arrow THE LIFE, ACTS, AND MIRACLES OF OUR REVERED AND HOLY FATHER ABBOT SERGIUS
Russian History: XX century

Russian History: XIX сentury



One day some Greeks arrived from Constantinople, sent by the patriarch to visit the saint. Making a deep obeisance they said to him, "The all-powerful Patriarch of Constantinople, Philotheus, sends you his blessing," and they presented him with gifts from the patriarch, a cross and a "paramand," and also handed him a letter from him. The saint asked: "Are you sure you have not been sent to someone else? How can 1, a sinner, be worthy of such gifts from the most illustrious patriarch They replied, "We have indeed been sent to you, holy Sergius." The elder went then to see the metropolitan, Aleksei and took with him the missive brought from the patriarch The metropolitan ordered the epistle to be read to him. It ran. "By the Grace of God, the Archbishop of Constantinople, the Ecumenical Patriarch Philotheus, by the Holy Spirit, to our son and fellow servant Sergius. Divine grace and peace, and our blessing be with you. We have heard tell of your godly life dedicated to God, wherefore we greatly praise and glorify God. One thing, however, has not been established: you have not formed a community. Take note, Blessed One, that even the great prophet and our father in God, David, embracing all things with his mind, could not bestow higher praise than when he said, 'But now, however good and however perfect, yet, above all, is abiding together in brotherly love.' Wherefore I counsel you to establish a community. That God's blessing and his grace be always upon you." The elder inquired of the metropolitan, "Revered teacher, what would you have us do?" The metropolitan replied, "With all our heart we approve, and return thanks." From henceforth life on the basis of community was established in the monastery. The saint, wise pastor, appointed to each brother his duties, one to be cellarer, others to be cooks and bakers, another to care for the sick, and for church duties, an ecclesiarch, and a subecclesiarch, and sacristans, and so forth. He further announced that the ordinances of the holy fathers were to be strictly observed; all things were to be possessed in common, no monk was to hold property of his own. His community having been established with much ' wisdom, the numbers of his followers soon increased. Also, the larger the supply of offerings to the monastery, the more hospitality‚ was extended. No person in need ever left the monastery empty-handed; and the saint gave orders that the poor and all strangers were to be allowed to rest in the monastery, and no suppliant to be refused, adding, "If you will follow my precepts and continue in them faithfully, God will reward you, and when I leave this life our monastery will prosper and continue to stand with the Lord's blessing for many years." And to the present day it has remained standing.

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