«…One night while St. Sergius was praying, he heard a voice calling his name. He was greatly surprised and, having read his prayer, he opened the window to see who had called him. A miraculous vision appeared before him. A great light coming from heaven made the night as bright as day. Once again a voice called him saying, “Sergius, you pray for your children and the Lord has heard your prayer. See how many monks have come together in honour of the Holy Trinity to be guided by you”. Then the saint saw a multitude of birds that were not only on the wall of the monastery, but also in the clearing surrounding it. The voice said: “The number of your monks will be as the number of the birds, and it will not decrease if they follow your path”».
Having become abbot of the monastery, St. Sergius did not change anything in his life and continued to work for all. He remembered the words of Christ, “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve” (Mt. 20:28 ). He was not only a father but also a servant to all those who came to him, giving an example of humility and work. Saint Sergius officiated every day, and he himself prepared alter bread, grinding wheat and making dough. He also prepared food, made boots and habits for the monks, carried water from the spring and left a bucket at each monk’s cell. He himself built 3 or 4 cells for other monks. He spent the night praying, eating only a little bread and water and never spent an hour without working.
Numerous miracles took place and many people were cured by St. Sergius` prayers. Gradually he became famous all over the country. Many pilgrims as well as suffering and poor people came to him for consolation.
In his lifetime already he was revered as a saint.
For a long time the number of the monks was limited to twelve. Then new candidates arrived and the community began to grow. The saint refused no one the right to enter the monastery. Among his disciples and followers there are about 70 canonised saints. In central and north-eastern Russia they founded about 50 monasteries, which became centres of orthodox piety and spiritual enlightenment.
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