Moscow region, Sergiev Posad, Lavra, Academy

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A new book “The image was your student”. The Life of St. Sergius of Radonezh in the XV-XVII Centuries Art”

The publishing house of the Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra has released a book by Priest Sergiy Churakov, Vice-Dean of the Icon-painting and Church Art Faculty, describing a life of St. Sergius of Radonezh depicted the works of art of the XV-XVII centuries.

This book becomes a result of long-term research on the St. Sergius iconography. Priest Sergiy Churakov started his work as a graduation essay of a student at the Moscow Theological Seminary, which later turned into his PhD thesis.

This profound theological and art study analyzes ancient examples of icon painting, mural paintings, embroidery and applied art. The earliest of them were created shortly after the uncovering the relics and had a high degree conventionality in depicting an appearance of the saint.

A significant place in the book is given to hagiographic icons of St. Sergius based on the texts of his life.

In the XV century there were a great number of images of St. Sergius throughout that shows true people's love and veneration of the saint. According to one of his hagiographers, he was “like a seed sown by God, from which prayer work has grown and blossomed in Russia…”.

The “hegumen of the Russian land” inherited the "treasures of an inner monastic life and spiritual fire of the Divine Light described in the works of St. Gregory Palamas." He "accepted this fire, kindled it in a deserted Radonezh forest and passed it on to his disciples, who later established numerous monasteries in the Moscow principality, Vologda and Novgorod lands, which were called the Northern Thebaid."

“As a sincere prayer to the Holy Trinity, St. Sergius showed Russian people the divine beauty of unity with God, the inner world, so that the saint way of life became an ideal example for both the individuals and the whole people ...”.

Each chapter is preceded by fragments from St. Sergius’ hagiorgaphy in the edition of Pachomius Logofet (Serb). The book also contains extracts from hagiographical and liturgical texts based on the manuscripts of the XV-XVII centuries from the collection of the Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra. A large number of illustrations reflect items from museum and private collections.

The book is dedicated to the 600th anniversary of the discovery of the relics of St. Sergius. It might get an attention of icon painters, art critics, restorers and everyone interested in life of St. Sergius of Radonezh.

MThA Press Office

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