Saint Sergius of Radonezh (1314-1392)
for September 25
Saint Sergius was born to a noble family in Russia. His baptismal name was Bartholomew. Sergius's family was impoverished when they had to flee to Rostov, near Moscow. After the death of his parents, Sergius became a hermit, along with his brother. He became a well-known spiritual figure in the wilderness of Russia, and drew quite a following. He eventually organized his followers into a monastic community. Soon, Sergius was joined at the monastery by his brother. However, his brother was opposed to the monastery's strictness, and Sergius soon left the religious community to once again become a hermit. The monastery soon fell into decline, and Sergius was asked to return. Sergius was very well-respected, and offered counsel and encouragement to break the Mongol domination of Russia. Saint Sergius also focused on bringing peace to the princes of Russia and building monasteries. He was canonized in 1449, and is the patron saint of Russia.
Read more about Saint Sergius of Radonezh (1314-1392)
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Saint Sergius, like many saints throughout Catholic history, chose to live as a hermit, in complete solitude, away from all distractions and responsibilities. It is virtually unimaginable for us today to conceive of someone choosing to live as a hermit. Regardless of whether such a vocation seems practical today, the hermits of old remind us of the tremendous value of solitude. Nearly every spiritual teacher of Christianity has emphasized that it is healthy and good for an individual to at least periodically take time alone with God to meditate and pray.
Pick a day to spend some time in complete solitude. Ask God to join you.