November 17, 2022

Miracles of Saints Sergius and Nikon of Radonezh

 By St. Justin Popovich

During their life on earth, the venerable fathers Sergius and Nikon were very close to each other. That mutual closeness does not leave them even in eternal life, because the love of the saints, like the love of the Divine, is not subject to the law of time. Both of them appeared together many times and performed miracles together.

A resident of Moscow, named Symeon, who was born according to the Saint's prediction, became so terribly ill that he could neither move, nor sleep, nor receive food. Simply, he was lying on his bed like a dead man. Tormented like that, he once at night began calling for help from Saint Sergius: "Help me, Venerable Sergius! Deliver me from this disease! Even during your life on earth you were so kind to my parents and you predicted my birth to them; don't forget me, who is struggling with such a serious illness!" And behold, two old men stood in front of him one after the other: one of them was Nikon. The sick man recognized him immediately, because he knew this Saint personally during his life on earth. Then it would be clear to the sick person that the second of the Saints who appeared was Venerable Sergius himself. The wonderful old man made the sign of the cross over the sick man, after which he ordered Nikon to take the icon that was near the bed. That icon was once given to Symeon by Venerable Nikon himself. Then, the sick man was made to remove all his skin from his body. After that, the Saints became invisible. And at that moment, Symeon felt that he was completely healed: he got up on his bed, and no one was holding him anymore. Then he understood that his skin had not fallen off, but that the disease had left him. His joy was great: standing up, he began to fervently thank Saint Sergius and Venerable Nikon for his unexpected and wonderful healing.

In particular, many miracles were performed by the Venerables Sergius and Nikon during the siege of the Trinity Monastery by the Poles under the leadership of Lisowski and Sapieha, when they experienced many miseries from the enemy. Saint Nikon and Venerable Sergius often appeared together not only to the besieged, encouraging them and strengthening them with the hope of God's help, but also to the enemies who were besieging the Lavra, frightening them and threatening them with the wrath of God. Many of the besieged, and their military commanders, saw two luminous elders walking on the monastery ramparts, namely Sergius and Nikon: one incensed the ramparts with a censer and the other sprinkled them with holy water.

Once, during the siege of the monastery, diseases appeared among the besieged due to hunger and other various shortages. Saint Nikon appeared in a dream to the churchman Irinarchus and said to him: "Tell all the sick that it will snow this night, and let all those who want to be healed from illness rub themselves with that snow." Irinarchus woke up with trepidation and in the morning told those around him what the wonderworker Nikon had told him. And really, it snowed at night, and whoever rubbed himself with that snow with faith became healthy.

Here is a case from recent times, in 1846. In the monastery hospital, the rasophoric novice Gavrilo was suffering from nervous fever; he was unconscious for several days, and they thought he would not get over it. On the night before the feast of the Venerable Nikon, he saw that his soul separated from his body and rushed into some kind of abyss. He mentally begged the venerable fathers Sergius and Nikon to bring him back to life, so that he could prepare for eternity through repentance. Meaanwhile, he was lying in front of others without consciousness or movement. Suddenly he saw as if the door opened: two light-bearing men entered - old men, one with a scepter - in it he recognized Venerable Sergius, and in the other Venerable Nikon. Venerable Sergius, pointing his scepter to Venerable Nikon at the sick man, said: "Help!" Venerable Nikon approached, and by his very approach filled the sick man with strength and joy. The sick man rose, crossed himself, and the venerable fathers became invisible. Gavrilo regained consciousness; the disease disappeared, only weakness remained.

From The Lives of the Saints of November. Translated by John Sanidopoulos.