Many a spiritual deed is done in the world, but only some are revealed in time by the choice of humanity. How amazing the manifestation of providence is at times, the power of the Holy Spirit that changes one’s fate wonderfully. And if one makes the right choice aimed at a good cause and help to humanity, if good thoughts dominate in one, this power is tripled and it grants one striking opportunities and chances, opening its amazing secrets as if a pure flower of lotus.

A celebrated saint of Kievan Rus Agapit of Pechersk, who was named Unmercenary Healer, marked the beginning of medical practice at Pechersky Monastery. His treatment however was not limited to healing of body illnesses. Many people received (both during and after his life) his unique, sightless with human eyes curative aid and support in their lives. Throughout the past and present centuries Agapit of Pechersk changed lives of many peoples, but one could only guess their numbers. There are however examples of our contemporaries who, after touching upon the relics of the Saint, became not only world-famous, but could also do a lot of good to people.

One of such striking examples is Sergei Alekseevich Nikitin, a man who was able to reconstruct true appearance of Agapit of Pechersk some 1000 years after the Saint’s death by means of scientific method of anthropological reconstruction. Nowadays, Sergei Nikitin is a world-famous expert in forensic reconstruction (plastic reconstruction) of sculptural portraits from bone remains.

Sergei Alekseevich started his career like many of his contemporaries. He graduated from Medical Institute of M.I. Pirogov in Moscow. As it happens Sergei started working at Forensic Medical Examination Bureau where he had passed forensic medicine internship during his study at forensic medicine department. By the way, he began to take interest in this topic back in his scientific students’ circle. He finished clinical studies in 1975.

Student’s hobby turned into scientific interest and employment at Mikhail Gerasimov’s laboratory where Sergei Alekseevich began working in the field of anthropological reconstruction (recreating the face of an individual from scull). Sergei Nikitin started working at thanatological departments and Bureau of Forensic Medical Examination. Since 1982, he got a permanent job at Forensic Medical Examination Bureau in Moscow. And, perhaps, he would continue laboring there like thousands of his colleagues, modestly doing his everyday work and enlarging his knowledge in private investigation. If it were not for one case….

In mid 1980s, there happened a minor soil collapse near Trinity gatehouse church on Kiev-Pechersk Lavra’s territory. In order to investigate the causes of what had happened there was called in a group of specialists of Dowsing Exploration Center of Ministry of Geology of URSU. Taking the opportunity, Kiev-Pechersk Reserve directorate made a decision to conduct a comprehensive exploration of the entire Laura’s territory in order to locate subsurface voids, burial places as well as to study the specifics of dowsing effects over the relics of some saints of the Near and the Far Caves. And it happened so that exactly at that time there privately arrived some scientists from Moscow for an excursion to Kiev-Pechersk Lavra. Sergei Nikitin was one of them. After learning about the colleague’s problem, naturally, they offered their assistance. And since 1985, Sergei Nikitin together with a formed scientific group had been engaged in studying the ancient relics of Kiev-Pechersk Lavra’s saints.

History is silent about the man’s inner transformations during these epoch-making events. One thing is clear, though: recreating real appearances of the first healer of Kievan Rus Agapit of Pechersk, the first Father Superior of Kiev-Pechersky Monastery Varlaam, Venerable Nestor the Chronicler, legendary Ilya Muromets, putting his heart into this titanic scientific study, his love towards people, history, and profession – was not easy. But as a result the scientist was able to revive real appearance of saints, who had lived almost a thousand years ago, and contribute them to the world’s heritage. Owing to Sergei Nikitin’s work many people were able to see the true appearance of those, the stream of people to incorruptible relics of whom has never ceased for an entire millennium.

Is it important for people? Yes, it is. Because it gives an opportunity to see not a myth, but reality! To see the same person like you, who chose difficult, but laudable course of life. It is not just an image, but a live example that motivates one to become better than he or she is, awakens one’s soul and encourages all desirable qualities. It means that it contributes to the process of a person’s transformation for the better. And what happens when there will be hundreds of thousands of such awakened people?! What about millions? The process of spiritual creation is, of course, not as visible as the process of material destruction and annihilation. However, it is far more powerful in terms of quality of individual’s transformations.

Thus, Sergei Nikitin modestly offered his mite to the great cause. Later on, favorable occasions did not pass him by. It can be picturesquely said that the Providence took notice of him. This legendary episode was followed by a concatenation of other events that enabled this scientist to discover one historical secret after another and to obtain world’s recognition.

High-ranking people of governmental authorities started to ask him for advice. Academician Velentin Yanin – a well-known historian who became famous owing to his findings concerning Novgorod the Great – invited Sergei Nikitin for attribution of Grand Duke Dmitry Shemyaka’s remains. Nikitin took part in theoretical and practical research at All-Russian Research Institute of Air and Space Medicine, conducted research for World Literature Institute, archeological department of Moscow Kremlin, Moscow Patriarchate, Archeological Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences, War Memorial Association, State Archives of the Russian Federation.

It has been for 10 years already that Archangel’s Cathedral has been opening its amazing secrets to him. Archangel’s cathedral is an Orthodox church, located on the Cathedral square in the Moscow Kremlin, where many rulers of Muscovy and their relatives were buried. The scientists had studied this cathedral before, but they achieved only minor results. Sergei Nikitin recreated sculptural images of the Romanovs as well as Muscovite tsarinas and Grand Duchesses. And it is far from being a complete list of noteworthy events of the scientist’s remarkable fortune after those momentous happenings in Kiev-Pechersk Lavra.

Who knows how many unknown secrets there are waiting for their hour, or their faithful bearer to be more precise. A hidden secret may be trusted only to an honest, sincere person, you know. But how the Providence finds such people remains an unresolved enigma. The hint, perhaps, does exist at the places where the path of Faith and Love has not been overgrown to for millennia.