Joyous feast! С праздником! Today we celebrate the memory of our Holy Fathers Sergius and Herman (or Germanus) the founders of the Holy Monastery of the Transfiguration on Valaam Island in Lake Ladoga.
When St. Sergius, a Greek-speaking monk from the East Roman Empire, first arrived to live in the caves on Valaam in the late 900s the island was the site of pagan worship and sacrifices. Through his preaching and holiness of life, however, St. Sergius gradually converted the island's inhabitants to Orthodoxy and built up a monastic community in the caves around him.
St. Herman, a Karelian from the area of Sortavala, later came to Valaam to take up the leadership of the monastic community there. Like St. Sergius, St. Herman became known for his work in converting the native peoples of what today is northern Russia, especially the Karelians, to Orthodoxy and confirming the Valaam Monastery's preeminence as the spiritual center of the Karelian Orthodox faithful.
More on the lives and labors of the founders of the Valaam Monastery, as well as more of the history of the Monastery itself, can be found here and here. May the Saints' blessings and prayers be with us all!