700 years to the birth of St. Sergius of Radonezh
May 2014 marks 700 years to the birth of St. Sergius of Radonezh (1314-1392), a patron saint of Russia. To commemorate the anniversary of one of the most venerated and popular saints in Russia, we again consider the importance of this spiritual leader in the history of the Christian church, Russian monasticism, and the Russian state.
Much information about the saint and his acts is taken from the writing of his life composed in the 15th century, which has come down to us in many later editions in the 15th to 20th century Russian manuscripts. The memory of the Reverend was ever honoured in Russia. It has lived on thanks to the «Life» of the saint, which was constantly copied and read. Therefore, the popular landmark of Old Russian literature became much reproduced book and its surviving copies number hundreds. But the original manuscript is of particular interest.
The unique manuscript «The Life of St. Sergius of Radonezh» written by the own hand of the famous hagiographer Pachomius the Serb, also known as Pachomius Logothetes, is housed in the National Library of Russia. This exhibition is intended to present the fifteen century landmark.
The «Life» and records from historical chronicles and legends show Sergius of Radonezh as the most brilliant example of the Russian ideal of holiness, who practiced great austerity, but at the same time served for people. He strove for a hermit's life but founded several monastic communities. The saint surprisingly combined mysticism and politics, disdain for material possessions and caring about a monastery farmstead.
The exhibition proves the eternity of high moral values and the enduring importance of the spiritual, cultural and historical heritage.