The Monk Sergei of Malopinezh

Commemorated on November 16

      The Monk Sergei of Malopinezh (in the world Simeon), was born in 1493. His father, Markian Stefanovich Nekliud, was descended from Novgorod boyar nobles. Together with other fellow citizens they left their native-place setting off "to the side of the icy sea", when Great Novgorod was finally subjugated to the power of Moscow by Ivan III. There in the northlands, Markian Stefanovich married Apollinaria, a maiden from a rich and nobleborn family. The pious spouses raised up their son Simeon in the fear of God, they gave him a fine education, and inculcated in him the love for "book-learning". Having grown old, Markian and Apollinaria by mutual agreement took monastic vows. Markian (in monasticism Matfei or Matthew) was afterwards hegumen of the Resurrection monastery in the city of Keurola. Apollinaria died a schema-monastic with the name Pelagia.
      Simeon at age 30 was ordained presbyter to the churches of the Transfiguration of the Lord and of the GreatMartyr George in the Malopinezh district. The holy presbyter Simeon at age 62 with love finished his pastoral service. With apostolic zeal he laboured over the conversion of the pagan Chud' people. The rare personal qualities of the pastor contributed much to the success of his preaching. As the Chronicle notes, he possessed a kindly soul and pure mind, a courageous heart, humility and quiet strength, love for unhypocritical truth, and was merciful to the poor to the point of self-denial. In the final year of his life, the monk took the schema with the name Sergei and died on 16 November 1585. By the last-will of the saint, they buried him about the altar of the Transfiguration church. Over his grave was built a chapel. The old hand-written manuscript tells about the numerous miracles which occurred at the grave of the saint.

1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

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