Sergiev Posad, Russia, May 29, 2020
On Wednesday, May 27, the feast of the leavetaking of Pascha, Hierodeacon Polycarp (Sidirov), a monk of the Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra, reposed in the Lord after suffering from double pneumonia and chronic lung diseases for many years, reports the Lavra’s website.
Photo: flickr.com His funeral was served this morning, May 29. He was buried in the brothers’ cemetery in the village of Deulino in the Sergiev Posad District.
The monastery’s report recalls a characteristic story from Fr. Polycarp’s life before he became a monk. He lived for many years in his native Nizhny Novgorod, where one feast day he heard a priest preach about the destructive effect of television on the human soul, on salvation. Fr. Polycarp (then Nikolai) felt the priest was preaching specifically to him, and when he got home, he threw his TV into a nearby ravine.
“Having said goodbye to the enemy of his salvation with such zeal, Nikolia continued an ordinary life,” the site recalls.
Even in his youth, Fr. Polycarp showed the main Christian qualities of strength in faith and deep humility, and he always took what was said to him with simplicity.
He was born on January 2, 1957 in Nizhny Novgorod, and pious relatives had him baptized, despite the atheistic times. His grandfather often took him to visit monasteries, and the desire to become a monk emerged in his young heart, though his dream had to be postponed due to the difficulties of entering a monastery in the soviet period.
In 1991, he visited the Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra and Archimandrite Kirill (Pavlov) blessed him to help make candles at the Gethsemane Chernigov Skete. He was then accepted into the Lavra brotherhood in the summer of 1992.
He was tonsured on April 21, 1994, receiving the name Polycarp in honor of St. Polycarp of Smyrna.
Fr. Polycarp was always cheerful and able to encourage the brethren in the most difficult of times. Children loved him and would run to him to hug him and usually receive a piece of candy or chocolate.
When his health began to fail, he was released from his obedience in the candle factory, though he feared to violate the blessing of Elder Kirill, who had appointed him to such an obedience. Nevertheless, he bore his new obediences with zeal, in spite of his bodily infirmity.
Over the years, Fr. Polycarp’s lungs began to fail and he was blessed to move to an area with a more favorable climate. Having regained his strength after a short stay, he returned to the monastery. The brethren asked him why he had returned. “I want to die in the monastery of St. Sergius!” he replied.
Fr. Polycarp reposed on May 27 from double pneumonia, against the background of chronic lung diseases.