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In a.d. 1313 a devout boyar couple near Rostov Velikiy, Russia, Kyril and Maria, had a son whom they named Bartholomew. He grew up in piety, and moved with his impoverished family of now three boys, to the town of Rostov. Bartholomew had great difficulty learning how to read, but when a holy elder monk met him one day, this staretz gave him some prosfora, or holy bread, to eat, and his confusion and inability was cured.
When his parents died, Bartholomew moved to a monastery near Moscow where his older brother Stefan was already a monk. Bartholomew was tonsured a monk and named Sergius. After some time, they both moved to the secluded forest area at Makovetz Hill, and built simple cells and a small church in honor of the Holy Trinity. This small church and cells grew in time to become the great Saint Sergius Holy Trinity Lavra. Saint Sergius’ life was filled with the miraculous: healings, prophecies, reading the hearts of men, and numerous visions, especially of the Theotokos. He drew many to his monastery, which flourished, becoming a beacon of faith to all of Russia. Saint Sergius went to Christ in a.d. 1392.
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