Saint Sergius of Radonezh, His Trinity Monastery, and the Formation of the Russian Identity
Publication Year: 2010
Published by: Northern Illinois University Press
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
I take great pleasure in thanking the people and institutions that assisted me in writing this book. First and foremost, I thank Gregory and Marilyn Shesko, who gave me photocopies and transcriptions of the Trinity-Sergius Monastery’s copybooks, land documents of the State’s Kollegiia ekonomiki, and a photocopy of Trinity’s sinodik. ...
About the year 1339, a youth named Varfolomei, having carried out his last obligation to his parents by burying them, set out to fulfill his destiny. He renounced his inheritance and, with his older brother Stefan, left the little town of Radonezh to dedicate his life to God. ...
Chapter One—The Historical Sergius
About 1418, some 26 years after the death of his hero in 1392, the Trinity monk Epifanii the Wise began his great work, saying, “I am astounded that so many years have passed without a life of Sergius being written.”1 Epifanii might well have been astonished. Sergius had died a famous man, respected throughout Rus’. ...
Chapter Two—Sergius the Saint
How does respect and love for a person become a cult? How is it that a community, such as that which during Sergei’s life thought him exceedingly pious and his deeds occasionally wondrous, after his death attributed to him supernatural qualities and considered some of his deeds miraculous? ...
Chapter Three—Sergius, a Russian Icon
On 21 September in 1504, in the penultimate year of his reign, “Grand Prince Ivan Vasilevich and his son Grand Prince Vasilii Ivanovich and [his other] children departed Moscow and were that fall at the life-giving Trinity Sergius monastery.”1 Their pilgrimage was timed to celebrate St. Sergius’s feast day, 25 September. ...
Chapter Four—Trinity’s Patrons
Sometime between 1398 and 1427 a landowner named Ivan Svatko, who lived in Pereiaslavl’ near the Trinity Monastery, had a scribe write a charter addressed to “my lord, the Abbot Nikon.” Ivan said he owed Nikon ten rubles. But in lieu of cash he was giving the monastery three uncultivated settlements (pustoshi) and a forest that he owned and paid taxes on (potiaglo). ...
Chapter Five—Trinity’s Monks
In 1572/73 Timofei Ivanovich Chashnikov, a landowner in Tver’, prepared a charter giving the Trinity-Sergius Monastery the hamlet of Riabinino in exchange “for eternal peace”; that is, to assure him memorial prayers. To this he added, “And tonsure and succor me, Timofei, at the Lifegiving Trinity.”1 ...
Chapter Six—Trinity’s Female Venerators
In 1570/71 Boiarina Matrena Zabolotskaia dictated to her scribe a testament that began, “I Matrena, the wife of Grigor Ivanovich Zabolotskii, during my lifetime by the will and testament of my husband . . . give the village of Novoe to the House of the Life-giving Trinity.”1 The village was a substantial property in Pereiaslavl’. ...
Chapter Seven—Interment at Trinity
In a donation charter of 1523/24, having requested prayers for his soul and those of his ancestors, and that he be tonsured, Gorianin Mordvinov, a landowner in Rostov, added, “And [when] God sends for [my] soul, for me Gorianin . . . , then bury me at the house of the Life-giving Trinity.”1 ...
Father Florenskii wrote this paean, equating Sergius’s Trinity Monastery with what it meant to be Russian, in 1919. It came at a time when it seemed that the Bolsheviks were about to eradicate the monastery in order to give new meaning to being Russian. ...
Page Count: 374
Illustrations: 12 halftones
Publication Year: 2010
OCLC Number: 768129737
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