The Holy Trinity Monastery (Lavra) was founded in 1340 by the patron saint of Russia, St. Sergius, who was known for being a great mystic and ascetic. St. Sergius lived in the 14th century, during a time when Russia was occupied by the Mongol Tatars. When he was 20 years old, he left his parent’s home and spent several years living a very austere and ascetic life deep in the forest. He spent this time in solitude, reading the bible, working in his garden and praying unceasingly. His many spiritual gifts included powerful and effective prayer, clairvoyance, spiritual direction, and numerous visions. In 1380, Sergius bestowed blessings on Dmitry, the Prince of Moscow, for his struggle against the Golden Horde (Mongol Tatars). The original wooden Church of the Holy Trinity, built by the monk Sergius, was destroyed in a Tatar raid in 1391, while Sergius himself died in 1392.
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