Source: Union of Orthodox Journalists
September 6, 2016
Once, in the deep of night, Venerable Sergius was reading an Akathist to the Mother of God. Having completed the usual rule he sat a bit to rest when suddenly he said to his cell attendant Venerable Micah: “Watch, child, we will have a miraculous visitation.”
Barely had he uttered these words when a voice was heard: “The All-Pure is coming.” St. Sergius hastened from his cell to the hall when suddenly there shone a bright light, stronger than the sun. He saw shining in ineffable glory the Mother of God, accompanied by the Apostles Peter and John. Unable to endure the wondrous light, Venerable Sergius reverently bowed before the Mother God and she said to him: “Fear not, my chosen one! I have come to visit you. Do not grieve anymore over your disciples and this place. Your prayers have been heard. From henceforth your habitation will be abundant, and not only in the days of your life, but also after your departure to the Lord I will never abandon your habitation, inexhaustibly granting it everything it needs and protecting it from all necessity.”
Having said this, the Mother of God became invisible. St. Sergius was long in inexpressible rapture, and, having come to himself, he picked up the venerable Micah. “Tell me, father,” asked the attendant, “what was this miraculous vision about? My soul nearly departed from my body from fear!” But the venerable Sergius remained silent. Only his luminescent face spoke of this spiritual joy which the saint experienced. “Wait a bit,” he finally uttered to his disciple, “while your soul calms from this miraculous vision.” After a while St. Sergius beckoned two of his disciples, Venerable Isaac and Simon, and disclosed to them the common joy and hope. All together they served a Moleben to the Mother of God. St. Sergius continued the remainder of the night without sleep, mentally paying heed to the Divine vision.
The appearance of the Mother of God in St. Sergius’ cell on the place of the current Serapion chamber occurred on a Friday of the Nativity Fast in 1385. The memory of this visitation and promise of the Mother of God to the Trinity Monastery was piously kept by the disciples of St. Sergius.
His holy relics were uncovered on July 5, 1422 and soon on the coffin of St. Sergius was placed an icon of the appearance of the Mother of God. In memory of the visitation of the Mother of God, an Akathist to the Most Holy Theotokos is read every Friday in the Trinity Cathedral of the Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra, and a special service in honor of the appearance of the Mother of God is served in the monastery on the second day of the leave-taking of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos.