Two and a half miles from the monastery, on the shore of the Sarovka River, in a dense pine forest, there stood a wooden one-room cell with a porch and a small wing—this was the Saint’s hermitage. He had a small garden where he grew potatoes, cabbage, onions, beets, etc. He lived there nearly sixteen years. “Having tasted of God’s sweetness, one longs for silence,” said St. John of the Well, “in order to partake of it tirelessly without impediment.” The holy Elder’s soul lived in a state of prayer that had long since become ceaseless.
“One distinguishing characteristic of the superior should be his love for his inferiors: for the true pastor, according to the words of St John Climacus, is shown by his love for his flock. For it is out of love that the Chief Shepherd was crucified on the cross.”