The Virgin Nativity Cathedral
Section of Central Crosswise Nave. West View

Sts. Sergius of Radonezh and Cyril of Belozero

Dionisy's frescoes. Sts. Sergius of Radonezh and Cyril of Belozero

Sergius of Radonezh
(c. 1314-1392), saint, monk, monastery founder, reformer of Russian monasticism. Secular name Bartholomew. He was born in a village of Barnitsy near Rostov into a boyar family of Cyril and Mary who moved to Radonezh around 1330. After the death of his parents together with his brother Stephen he withdrew to a wilderness near Radonezh and built a wooden church in honour of the Holy Trinity (c. 1335). Having taken the tonsure he consequently became the hegumen of the monastery. Following the counsel of the Constantinople Patriarch Philotheos and blessed by Metropolitan Alexius he introduced the coenobitic charter that was later accepted in numerous Russian monasteries. Apart from the Trinity St. Sergius Monastery Sergius of Radonezh also founded other cloisters while his disciples set up all in all 40 monasteries mainly in the north of Russia. Feast day: 25 September (8 October).

Cyril of Belozero
(1337-1427), saint, monk, adherent of St. Sergius of Radonezh, founder of the St. Cyril Belozero Monastery. Cyril was born in Moscow and took the tonsure in the Simonov Monastery where subsequently he became archimandrite. He was renowned for his spiritual exploits, diligence and wisdom, and possessed the gift of sagacity. In about 1397 he had a vision of the Mother of God and withdrew with monk Ferapont to Belozero where he founded his cloister. In the St. Cyril Belozero Monastery he introduced a very strict ascetic charter and his life served as an example to the brethren. Feast day: 9(22) June.