Every self-respecting religion can boast of its saints. Usually a Saint is credited with various miracles, acts of sacrifice, austerity and humility. Remember the biblical commandment: thou shalt not kill! So white and fluffy were the saints. But there is in Orthodox Christianity one Reverend, which, if deal, had to Christianity highly mediocre attitude. We are talking about Sergius of Radonezh. What was wrong with him? Let's understand.
Sergius was not just a patriot of his land, but also an active public figure. There are suspicions to consider that the Trinity-Sergievsky monastery where he was in charge, turned into the center of training of young disciplined experts from where in due time soldiers-monks Peresvet with a call sign “Alexander” and Oslyabya with a call sign “Rodion " graduated. To a modern Christian, this may seem incredible... the Priest turns... no, not into a feverish businessman, as is often the case in our time, but into a real mentor for the fighters, the elite unit of the time. Judging by many evidence, we can confidently conclude that Orthodox Christianity in Russia then was completely different than we now imagine. Most likely, there were no clear boundaries between Christianity and the old pre-Christian, Vedic faith, but more on that later.
During his service in the Church, Sergius of Radonezh educated many disciples who founded up to forty monasteries; from these, in turn, came the founders of about fifty more monasteries. They, following the example of Sergius monastery was introduced coenobitic Charter, which to some extent resembles the military regulations. It turns out that the old Russian monastery was the prototype of modern military units, where the main motives for discipline were patriotism and work on yourself.
Sergius of Radonezh contributed not only to the development of monasticism in Russia, but also to the creation of peculiar bases, where rigid discipline and asceticism brought up potential soldiers. In case of urgent need, they were able to turn from monks to fighters.
During his hegumen Sergius forbade the monks to ask for alms and made it a rule that all monks lived at the expense of their own labor, himself setting an example in this. The highly respected Abbot of Radonezh, Metropolitan Alexei before his death, persuaded him to be his successor, but Sergius refused. This suggests that he was not a careerist.
Sergius of Radonezh is credited with a strong influence on the military and political situation in Russia at that time. High-ranking officials came to him for advice before making important decisions, that is, the Saint acted as an adviser on domestic and foreign Affairs.
It was thanks to Sergius of Radonezh that the Principality of Moscow did not become a trading colony of the Genoese, when Mamai offered the local authorities a deal with Genoa that was not very profitable for the region. Although many people thought the proposal was beneficial, the monk Sergius of Radonezh said that"foreign merchants should not be allowed to enter the Holy Russian land, because it is a sin."
It was Sergius of Radonezh who set up Dmitry Donskoy to win the internecine battle on Kulikovo field. Many chroniclers believe that the monk instilled confidence in the Prince and the squad, despite the numerical superiority of the army of Mamai.
After the victory in the battle of Kulikovo, the Grand Duke began to treat the Radonezh Abbot with even greater reverence and invited him to seal the spiritual will, which for the first time legalized the new order of succession: from father to eldest son.
Despite the clear and unambiguous position of the official history, it is still not known exactly in what relations with the Tatars was Russia, who fought with whom and why. The same applies to the battle of Kulikovo, which was attended by graduates of the monastery of Sergius of Radonezh. Yes, and the Holy indirectly involved in it. Without his assurances of Russian success, it is unlikely that Donskoy's victory would have been secured.
As the most reliable image of this battle, we take the old Yaroslavl icon, Dating from the middle of the 17th century. It is customary to call it so: "Sergius of Radonezh. Hagiographic icon".
Why should we believe this particular image? The matter is that practically all icons which covered by tradition drying oil, darkened over time, and approximately time in 100 years them again covered a basis and drew anew. This means that under the upper image of the icon there is at least one more ancient icon. The bottom layer is of particular interest. In 1959, they were able to remove the upper layers and thus, in the jargon of reenactors, “revealed " its very first edition.
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