Outside the lavra is a statue of its founder St Sergius of Radonezh. St Sergius was born as Varfolomey just outside of Rostov Veliky in approximately 1314. After a holy visitation Varfolomey became a monk and took the name Sergi (Sergius). In 1337 Sergius became a hermit in dense forest where Sergeiv Posad now stands. Over time he founded a monastery which grew into a highly influential religious centre of Russia. Sergius died at his monastery in 1392 and was canonised in the mid-15th century and today remains one of Russia’s most revered native saints.