Venerable Sergius the Abbot of Nurma and Disciple of the Venerable Sergius of Radonezh, Vologda

Saint Sergius of Nurma was originally from Greece, and traveled from Mt. Athos in order to converse with Saint Sergius of Radonezh (September 25) and to ask his advice on spiritual matters, even though he himself was already an experienced Elder.

After spending some time with the great man, Saint Sergius went to the Vologda region near the river Nurma, a tributary of the river Obnora in order to live in solitude. Soon, monks and laymen came to join him, attracted by the holiness of his life. In time, about forty ascetics joined Saint Sergius in the wilderness. He established a monastery and built a church dedicated to the Transfiguration of the Lord.

One day, Saint Sergius encountered Saint Paul of Obnora (January 10) near his monastery, feeding birds from his hands. All creatures obeyed Saint Paul, just as they obeyed Adam in Paradise.

The two saints became very close and counseled one another in their spiritual endeavors. Saint Paul had Saint Sergius, who had been ordained to the holy priesthood on Mt. Athos, as his spiritual Father. Saint Paul would confess his thoughts to Sergius, and also received Holy Communion from him. When Saint Sergius would leave for his own home three miles away, Saint Paul walked with him two thirds of the way. A chapel was later built on the spot where the two saints parted.

Saint Paul told Saint Sergius that he heard church bells ringing one night while he was in the forest by the river Nurma, and that he had also seen a bright light. Saint Sergius predicted that a monastery would be founded there one day. He urged Saint Paul to build a church dedicated to the Holy Trinity.

Saint Sergius was twice attacked by bands of thieves. The first time they almost beat him to death. The second time they were driven off by the power of his prayers.

Saint Sergius fell asleep in the Lord on October 7, 1412 at an advanced age.