Saint Tikhon of Zadonsk and Wonderworker
Leavetaking of the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord
Commemorated on August 13
Saint Tikhon of Zadonsk, Bishop of Voronezh (in the world Timothy), was born in the year 1724 in the village of Korotsk in the Novgorod diocese, into the family of the cantor Sabellius Kirillov. His father died when Timothy was a young child, leaving the family in such poverty that his mother was barely able to make ends meet. In the year 1758, he was tonsured with the name Tikhon.
His election as bishop was providential. On the day of Pascha, at Peterburg, Archimandrite Tikhon was one of eight candidates being considered for selection as vicar-bishop for Novogorod. The lot fell on him three times.
On the same day, during the Cherubic Hymn, Bishop Athanasius of Tver, without realizing it, commemorated him as a bishop while cutting out particles from the prosphora at the Table of Oblation. On May 13, 1761 he was consecrated Bishop of Keksgolma and Ladoga (i.e., a vicar bishop of the Novgorod diocese).
The saint considered it essential that each priest, deacon and monk have a New Testament, and that he should read it daily. He exerted much attention and effort to build up both the churches and the school, and to guide pastors to understand the need for education.
The saint was unflagging in his efforts to administer the vast diocese, and he often spent nights without sleep. In 1767, poor health compelled him to give up running the diocese …
In 1769, the saint transferred to the monastery of the Theotokos in the city of Zadonsk. Having settled into this monastery, St Tikhon became a great teacher of the Christian life. He loved to read the Lives of the Saints and the works of the holy Fathers. He knew The Psalter by heart, and he usually read or sang the Psalms on his journeys.
The saint underwent much tribulation because he had to leave his flock.
The saint lived in very simple circumstances..His humility was so great that he paid no attention to the workers who laughed at him as he walked about the monastery, pretending that he did not hear it.He often said, “Forgiveness is better than revenge.”
Once, a fool named Kamenev struck the saint on the cheek saying, “Don’t be so haughty” The saint, accepting this with gratitude, gave the fool three kopeks every day for the rest of his life.
All his life the saint “in troubles, and sorrows, and insults… joyfully endured, mindful that there can be no crown without the victory, nor victory without effort, nor effort without struggle, nor struggle without enemies” (Ode 6 of the Canon).
By his deeds of self-denial and love of soul, the saint advanced in contemplation of Heaven and foresaw the future. In 1778, he had a vision in his sleep: the Mother of God stood in the clouds, and near Her were the Apostles Peter and Paul. On bended knees, the saint prayed to the All-Pure Virgin for the peace of the whole world. The Apostle Paul loudly exclaimed: “When they shall say, peace and safety; then sudden destruction will come upon them” (I Thess. 5:3). The saint fell asleep in trembling and in tears. The following year, he again saw the Mother of God in the air and several people near Her. The saint knelt down, and near him four others in white garments also fell to their knees. The saint entreated the All-Pure Virgin for someone, that She would not leave him (the saint did not tell his cell-attendant who the four people were, nor for whom the request was made). She answered, “Let it be as you ask.”
St Tikhon prophesied much about the future, particularly the victory of Russia over the French in 1812. More than once they saw the saint in spiritual rapture, with a transformed and luminous face, but he forbade them to speak about this.
For three years before his repose he prayed each day, “Tell me, O Lord, of my end.” And a quiet voice in the morning dawn said, “It will be on a Sunday.” In that same year, he saw in a dream a beautiful meadow with wondrous palaces upon it. He wanted to go inside, but they said to him: “In three years, you may enter. For now, continue your labors.” After this the saint secluded himself in his cell and admitted only a few friends.
A year and three months before his death, in a vivid dream, it seemed to the saint that he was standing in the monastery church. A priest of his acquaintance was carrying the Divine Infant, covered with a veil, out of the altar through the Royal Doors. The saint approached and kissed the Infant on the right cheek, and he felt himself stricken on the left. Awakening, the saint sensed a numbness in his left cheek, his left leg, and a trembling in his left hand. He accepted this illness with joy.
At the end of his earthly life, he Would restlessly spend nights on end walking in desolate places begging God to let him know what awaits those who are seriously concerned with their spiritual life. One night suddenly the whole sky was opened and the monastery was bathed in heavenly light and there was a voice saying, See what is prepared for those who love God–and he beheld the unutterable blessings of that other world for which the Christian lives.”
St Tikhon died, as was revealed to him, on Sunday August 13, 1783, at the age of fifty-nine. The first uncovering of his relics occurred on May 14, 1846.
Saint Tikhon’s glorification took place on Sunday August 13, 1861.
https://oca.org/saints/lives/2016/08/13/102287-st-tikhon-the-bishop-of-voronezh-and-wonderworker-of-zadonsk-and – http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/73196.htm
“God will not ask you Whether you taught your children French, German or Italian or the politics of society life – but you will not escape divine reprobation for not having instilled goodness into them. I speak plainly but I tell the truth: if your children are bad, your grandchildren will be worse…and the evil will thus increase…and the root of all this is our thoroughly bad education.”
One of his teachings on humility is entitled, “water flows from high mountains onto low places”: “We see that water gravitates from the mountains to low-lying areas; so too, the grace of God is poured out from the Heavenly Father upon humble hearts.”
“Try to know yourself, your own wickedness. Think on the greatness of God and your wretchedness. Meditate on the suffering of Christ, the magnitude of Whose love and suffering surpass our understanding. Ascribe the good that you do to God alone. Do not think about the sin of a brother but about what in him is better than in yourself …. Flee from glory, honors and praise, but if this is impossible, be sorry that such is your lot. Be benevolent to people of low origin. Be freely and willingly obedient not only to those above you but to those below …. The lowlier we are in spirit, the better we know ourselves, and without humility we cannot see God.“
Love believes and hopes ….
Troparion — Tone 8
From your youth you loved Christ, O blessed one. / You have been an example for all by word, life, love, faith, purity, and humility. / Therefore, you now abide in the heavenly mansions, / where you stand before the throne of the All-holy Trinity. / Holy Hierarch Tikhon, pray for the salvation of our souls.