Tikhon of Moscow

From OrthodoxWiki
Revision as of 09:32, April 7, 2006 by Pkdimarco (talk | contribs) (See also)
Jump to: navigation, search
Icon of St. Tikhon

Our father among the saints Tikhon of Moscow (1865–1925), Enlightener of North America, was Patriarch and Confessor of Moscow and All Russia (1917–1925). "He established his cathedral in New York City, and presided over a vast Archdiocese, encouraging and authorizing many publications in the English language. Among these, he encouraged the translation of the Eastern liturgy into English by Isabel Florence Hapgood, and he wrote an extensive catechism based on the Nicene Creed and the Our Father. For the Western Rite, he established the corrected and authorized version of the eucharistic liturgy from the American Book of Common Prayer for Orthodox worship." [1] His feast day is celebrated on April 7, and his glorification is celebrated on October 9.

This article forms part of the series
Orthodoxy in America
Orthodox us.gif
American Orthodox Timeline
American Orthodox Bibliography
Byzantines on OCA autocephaly
Ligonier Meeting
Saints - Bishops - Writers
Antiochian - Bulgarian
OCA - Romanian - Moscow
ROCOR - Serbian

Ecumenical Patriarchate:
Albanian - Carpatho-Russian
Greek - Ukrainian

Christ the Saviour
Holy Cross
Holy Trinity
St. Herman's
St. Tikhon's
St. Sava's
St. Sophia's
St. Vladimir's
Assembly of Bishops
Amer. Orthodox Catholic Church
Brotherhood of St. Moses the Black
Evangelical Orthodox Church
Holy Order of MANS/CSB
Society of Clerks Secular of St. Basil
Edit this box

Early Life

St. Tikhon ( Vasily Ivanovich Belavin) was born on January 19, 1865. His father was Ioann Belavin, a rural priest of the Toropetz district of the Pskov diocese. "From his early years he displayed a particular religious disposition, love for the Church as well as rare meekness and humility. ... From 1878 to 1883, Vasily studied at the Pskov Theological Seminary. ... His fellow students liked and respected him for his piety, brilliant progress in studies, and constant readiness to help comrades, who often turned to him for explanations of lessons, especially for help in drawing up and correcting numerous compositions. Vasily was called 'bishop' and 'patriarch' by his classmates." [2]

"Following graduation from the Pskov Seminary and St Petersburg Theological Academy, he becomes an instructor first at Pskov Seminary (1888-91), then Kholm Seminary (1891-97), where he quickly became Rector. Just prior to his transfer to Kholm he was tonsured a monk with the name Tikhon and ordained." [3]

Life and work after ordination

One of the first Orthodox bishops to do major work in North America, St. Tikhon went on to establish the "Diocese of the Aleutians and North America" after converting many people on the continent. Deemed an honorary citizen of the United States, he consecrated Orthodox Churches in America during the early 20th Century. The saint was also the primary founder of St. Tikhon's Orthodox Monastery in South Canaan, Pennsylvania, naming it for his heavenly patron, St. Tikhon of Zadonsk.

After returning to Russia in 1907, he continued to win the affection of thousands with his humble piety and loving affectiong. During World War I, he charitably aided displaced citizens to flocked to him. He was also honored by in August of 1917 by being elected Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church. St. Tikkhon had to overcome much disunity within the Church.

St. Tikhon of Moscow

When the ungodly Bolshevik regime took control of the country, Church property was confisgated and the Russian Orthodox Church had to endure much repression. St. Tikhon openly condemned the killings of the Czar's family in 1918, and protested against violent attacks by the Bolsheviks on the Church. At this time, he called Russian Orthodox Christians to unite and strengthen their practices. To avoid further persecution, he issued a message that clergy were not to make any political statements.

From 1922 to 1923, Patriarch Tikhon was imprisoned in Donskoy Monastery after he openly opposed the government’s decree of being able to confisgate Church property. Thousands of Russian believers were shot. Upon being released, he assured the regime of his loyalty, in an apparent attempt to relieve the harsh pressures on the Church. Despite his declaration of loyalty, he continued to enjoy the trust of the Orthodox community in Russia.

As persecution continued, he began to feel overwhelmed and his strength and health declined. On Sunday April 5, 1925 he served his last Liturgy. He died giving the Sign of the Cross, saying, “"Glory to Thee, O Lord, glory to Thee." He only Crossed himself 2 times, dying before he could complete the third. After his death, he was considered a martyr for the faith.

In 1989, Patriarch Tikhon was glorified by the Church of Russia. This process is generally considered an example of the thaw in Church-Soviet relations in the Glasnost era.

Quotes by Saint Tikhon

"Devote all your energy to preaching the word of God and the truth of Christ, especially today, when unbelief and atheism are audaciously attacking the Church of Christ. May the God of peace and love be with all of you!"

"May God teach every one of us to strive for His truth, and for the good of the Holy Church, rather than something for our own sake."

See also

Succession box:
Tikhon of Moscow
Preceded by:
Bishop of Lublin
Succeeded by:
Preceded by:
Nicholas (Ziorov)
Bishop of the Aleutian Islands and Alaska
Succeeded by:
Platon (Rozhdestvensky)
Preceded by:
Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia
Succeeded by:
Serguis I (Stragorodsky)
Help with box

Sources and External Links