“Now, Vladyka, you sit in my place, and I will go to rest,” the father of the Russian land, Father John of Kronstadt, told the future Patriarch. Indeed, in a few years, St. Tikhon will become the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia and the sadder of our fatherland.
Saint Tikhon was born on January 19, 1865 in the village of Klin of the Toropetsk district of the Pskov province in a priest’s family. He graduated from the theological school, seminary, theological academy. Aspiring by his pure soul to God, he led a strict, chaste life and, at the 26th year of his life, he became a monk and then ordained a deacon and elder. First, the future confessor was an inspector, and soon the rector of the Kholmsky Theological Seminary, and then at 34 he was elevated to the rank of bishop of Lublin with his appointment as vicar of the Kholm diocese.
Later, the Lord prepared his chosen one to become the Apostle of America. Heading the Orthodox Church in America, Archbishop Tikhon did a lot in the great work of spreading Orthodoxy: in the diocese, he established two vicars, and churches were built for Orthodox Russian people. A theological seminary was established in Mineapolis (which eliminated the need to send priests from Russia), a Tikhonov monastery was founded near Scranton (Pennsylvania) with a shelter school attached to it. A house was also built for a free shelter and food for poor migrants from Russia, the device of which he won universal respect. The number of parishes in the diocese increased from 15 to 75, thousands of Uniates converted to Orthodoxy. The Americans elected Lord Tikhon as an honorary citizen of the United States.
After 9 years, he returned to Russia and was appointed to the Yaroslavl department, where he quickly gained the love of his flock, who appreciated his bright soul. In 1914, he was Archbishop of Vilna and Lithuania. It also showed his nature, rich in the spirit of love for people. He strained all his strength to help the unfortunate inhabitants of Vilnius, who lost their shelter and livelihood due to the war with the Germans.
In 1917, the Moscow diocesan congress of clergy and laity elected Bishop Tikhon as his ruling bishop, as an ardent and enlightened archpastor. Then he was awarded the rank of Metropolitan.
In the same year, Vladyka Tikhon was elected Patriarch: in front of the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God, brought from the Assumption Cathedral to the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, the shieromonks of Zosimov desert Alexy, a member of the Cathedral, reverently removed one of the three lots with the name of the candidate from the ark.
Having become the head of the Russian hierarchs, Patriarch Tikhon has not changed. Everyone in contact with the Holy One was amazed at his amazing accessibility, simplicity and modesty. But the gentleness and simplicity in the conversion of His Holiness Tikhon did not prevent him from being adamantly firm in church affairs, where necessary, especially in protecting the Church from its enemies. The saint and confessor courageously defended Orthodoxy during the years of persecution, ready to lose everything for the Lord: “Please believe that I will not make agreements and concessions that will lead to the loss of purity and fortress of Orthodoxy.” Being a good shepherd who devoted himself entirely to the work of the Church, he also called on the clergy: “Devote all your strength to preaching the word of God, the truth of Christ, especially in our day, when unbelief and godlessness boldly rebelled against the Church of Christ. And the God of peace and love will be with you all! ”
There was a lot of persecution of the Patriarch, for a long time he was imprisoned and under arrest, there was an attempted murder, but God himself kept the confessor.
March 23 (according to the new style on April 7), 1925, on the day of the Annunciation, St. Tikhon peacefully rested. In his last moments of his life, he turned to God and with a quiet prayer of gratitude and praise, baptized, said: “Glory to you, Lord, glory to you …” About a million people came to say goodbye to their beloved Patriarch.
It is difficult to imagine the Russian Orthodox Church without Patriarch Tikhon in these difficult years for Russia. So he did immeasurably much for the Church, and to strengthen faith itself in the difficult years of trials that fell on the lot of believers.
The memory of St. Tikhon is celebrated on April 7, October 9 and November 18 (the day of election to the Patriarchal Throne) in a new style. The relics of the saint rest in the Great Cathedral of the Donskoy Monastery.
Part of the relics of St. Tikhon is in the St. Nicholas Monastery in the Assumption Church, in the ark of one of the chapels.
From the memoirs of Olga Ilyinichna Podobedova, who at that time was a member of the sisterhood in the Church of the Descent of the Holy Spirit at the Lazarevsky Cemetery:
“Patriarch-Confessor Tikhon loved to visit the church at the Lazarevsky cemetery. He served there quite often in the 1920s. The residence of the Most Holy was placed nearby, on Trinity Hill, where the courtyard of the Trinity-Sergius Lavra was located. His Holiness was very fond of children. Sometimes, after the service, he will leave on the pulpit (and in the summer – on the porch), having already been exposed, he is standing on the lower step of the pulpit, with his arms spread wide, and summoning the children to him.
When there are quite a few of them, he takes off the panagia and blesses everyone with it, and gives it a kiss, and then he calls the clerk with a large basket in which there are either apples, or caramels in pieces of paper, or blessed bread rolls, and he gives out modest gifts to all the children, smiling with his a kind smile. It was a difficult time, 1924, the beginning. He pats another on the head, someone seriously puts his hand on his head and holds it longer, someone says a funny joke. All this is done in brief moments, until the cab drove up … “
“It was not in vain that he bore the title of His Holiness,” they wrote of him. “It was real holiness, majestic in its simplicity and simple in its exceptional greatness.” “From the Holy One you go spiritually washed.”
Prayer to St. Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia
O our shepherd, our good, holy great patriarch Tikhon, as if you were a city of heaven, you are – your good deeds are still shining before people. The vems, like you, are coming before the throne of the Most Holy Trinity, the command of imash is boldness in prayers before the Lord. Look now at us, your sinful and unworthy children, to you, who have the boldness before the Creator of all sorts, now we are relegating and praying earnestly: implore the Lord, give us the determination to acquire the piety of our fathers, you have acquired him from your youth . You in your life, an ardent defender and guardian of the true faith, have been, help and we are unshakable to observe the Orthodox faith. Your quiet soul has succeeded zealously in the Divine humble wisdom, teach us our minds and nourishment not by the multilingual wisdom of man, but by the humble knowledge of the will of God. You, in the face of the fierce enemies of Christ, the True God boldly confessed thou, with your prayer strengthen us weak-minded, and we always and everywhere resist the spirit of atheism and flattery. She, the servant of God, do not despise us who are praying to you, for we are not asking for deliverance from troubles and sorrows only, but we ask for strength and firmness, generosity and love in order to bear these adversities that are rising against us. Ask us relentless patience even to the end of our life, peace with the Lord and remission of sins. Holy Father! Tame the winds of unbelief and troubles in our country, may the Lord in the land of the Russians make peace and piety and love unfeigned. By your prayers, may it save you from internecine warfare, may it strengthen the Holy Church of our Orthodox Church, may it not be impoverished as true shepherds, good workers, the right to rule the word of the gospel Truth. God forbid the lost sheep of the flock of Christ. Most of all, pray to the Lord of strength, that the Russian land will be reborn with holy repentance and with one heart and one mouth glorify Divnago in His saints God, in the Trinity of the glorious Father and Son and Holy Spirit forever and ever. Amen.