We will now turn to the miracles God performs through His elect. Owing to the lack of water near the monastery, the brotherhood suffered great discomfort, which increased with their numbers and having to tote water from a great distance, Some of the monks complained to Abbot Sergius: “When you set out to build a monastery on this spot, why didn’t you see that is was not near water?” This query was often repeated with vexation.
The saint told them: “I intended to worship and pray in this place alone. But God willed that a monastery such as this, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, should arise.”
Going out of the monastery, accompanied by one of the brethren, he made his way through a ravine below the monastery, and finding a small pool of rain water, he knelt down and prayed. No sooner had he made the sign of the Cross over the spot, than a bubbling spring arose, which is still to be seen to the day; and from whence water is drawn to supply every need of the monastery.
Many cures have been granted to the faithful from the waters and people have come from long distances to fetch the water to take home to their sick loved ones. From the time that it appeared, and for a number of years, the spring was named after Sergius. The wise man, not seeking renown was displeased and said: “Never let me hear that a well is called by my name. I did not give the water; God gave it to us unworthy men.”
A certain devout Christian living close by the monastery, who believed in St. Sergius, had an only son, a child who fell ill. The father brought the boy to the monastery to pray for him: but while the father was yet speaking, the boy died. The man, with his last hope gone, wept and bemoaned: “It would have been better had my son died in my own house.” While he went to prepare a grave, the dead child was laid in the saint’s cell. The saint feeling compassion for the man’s loss, fell to his knees and prayed over the dead child. Suddenly the boy came to life, and moved. His father returning with preparations for the child’s burial, found his son alive whereupon he flung himself at the feet of God’s servant and thanked him. The saint said: “You deceive yourself man, and do not know what you are saying. While on your journey hither, your son became frozen with the cold and you thought he had died. He has now thawed in the warmth of my cell and you think he returns to life. No one can rise again from the dead before the Day of Resurrection.”
The man, however kept insisting: “Your prayers brought him back to life.”
St Sergius forbade him from saying this: “If you noise this abroad you will lose your son altogether.” The man promised to tell no one and, taking his son – now restored to health- he went back home. This miracle was made known through the saint’s disciples.
Living on the banks of the Volga, a long distance from the Lavra, was a man who owned great possessions, but who was afflicted, day and night by a cruel and evil spirit. Not only did he break iron chains but ten or more strong men could not hold him. His relatives, hearing of the servant of the Lord, Sergius, journeyed to the monastery. When they arrived at the Lavra the madman broke loose from his bonds and flung himself about crying: “I will not go! I will not go! I will not. I will return from whence I came!” The brethren informed the abbot, who gave the command to sound the “bilo,” and when the brethren assembled they sang the Te Deum for the sick. The madman grew calmer little by little and when he was led into the monastery, the saint came out of the Church carrying a Cross, whereupon the sufferer, with a loud cry, fled form the spot and flung himself into a pool of rain water, exclaiming: “O horrible, O terrible flame!” By the grace of God and the saint’s prayers he recovered and was restored to his right mind. When they asked what he meant by his exclamation, he said: “When the saint wanted to bless me with the Cross, I saw a great flame proceeding from him and it seized hold of me; so I threw myself into the water fearing that I would be consumed in the flame.”
One day the saint, in accordance with his usual rule, was keeping vigil and praying for the brotherhood lat at night, when he heard a voice calling: “Sergius!” He was astonished and opening the window of his cell, he beheld a wondrous vision. A great radiance shone in the heavens, the night sky was illuminated by its brilliance, exceeding the light of day. A second time the voice called: “Sergius! Thou prayest for thy children; God has heard thy prayer. See and behold the great numbers of monks gathered together in the mane of the Everlasting Trinity, in thy fold and under thy guidance.”
The saint looked and beheld a multitude of beautiful birds, flying, not only to the monastery, but all around; and he heard a voice saying: “As many birds as thou seest by so many will thy flock of disciples increase; and after thy time they will not grow less if they follow in thy footsteps.” Anxious to have a witness to this vision, the saint called aloud for Simon, him being the nearest. Simon ran with all haste, but he was not found worthy to behold the vision; he saw not more than a ray of its light, but even so was greatly astonished. Filled with awe and wonder at the glorious vision, they rejoiced together.