After spending some time with the great man, St Sergius went to the Vologda region near the river Nurma, a tributary of the river Obnora in order to live in solitude. Soon, monks and laymen came to join him, attracted by the holiness of his life. In time, about forty ascetics joined St Sergius in the wilderness. He established a monastery and built a church dedicated to the Transfiguration of the Lord.
One day, St Sergius encountered St Paul of Obnora (January 10) near his monastery, feeding birds from his hands. All creatures obeyed St Paul, just as they obeyed Adam in Paradise.
The two saints became very close and counseled one another in their spiritual endeavors. St Paul had St Sergius, who had been ordained to the holy priesthood on Mt. Athos, as his spiritual Father. St Paul would confess his thoughts to Sergius, and also received Holy Communion from him. When St Sergius would leave for his own home three miles away, St Paul walked with him two thirds of the way. A chapel was later built on the spot where the two saints parted.
St Paul told St Sergius that he heard church bells ringing one night while he was in the forest by the river Nurma, and that he had also seen a bright light. St Sergius predicted that a monastery would be founded there one day. He urged St Paul to build a church dedicated to the Holy Trinity.
St Sergius was twice attacked by bands of thieves. The first time they almost beat him to death. The second time they were driven off by the power of his prayers.
St Sergius fell asleep in the Lord on October 7, 1412 at an advanced age.