St Sergius of Radonezh died today in 1392, which makes this his feast day. Sergius joined his brother Stephen to become a hermit in the forests north of Moscow, and when Stephen left, Sergius lived alone with only the wolves and bears for company. He atracted followers and in time his hermitage became the Holy Trinity-St Sergius monastery, which is now regarded as the spiritual centre of Russian Orthodoxy. The icon painter St Andrei Rublev was a monk at the monastery in the generation after Sergius, and his renowned icon of the Holy Trinity (above) gives visual form to the theology of St Sergius.
It is the feast of St Finbarr, the 7th century Irish abbot who is said to have crossed the Irish Sea on horseback.
It is St Cadoc of Llancarvan’s day. Cadoc was a 6th-century Welsh monk who saved his monastery from famine, not by a miracle, but by spotting a fat mouse, tying a thread to its foot, and following it to an underground granary.
RS Thomas, the Welsh priest and poet, died today in 2000.
M Scott Peck, a Quaker and the bestselling author of the book The Road Less Traveled, died today in 2005. The manuscript for the book was turned down by the publisher Random House, who said that the final section was ‘too Christ-y’, so another publisher took it up and made a mint instead.
Lancelot Andrewes, the Church of England Bishop, scholar and King James Bible translator, died today in 1626.
Image: Simon Jenkins