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Tikhon of Moscow

Tikhon of Moscow

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Saint
Saint
A saint is a holy person. In various religions, saints are people who are believed to have exceptional holiness.In Christian usage, "saint" refers to any believer who is "in Christ", and in whom Christ dwells, whether in heaven or in earth...

 Tikhon of Moscow , born Vasily Ivanovich Bellavin , was the 11th Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia of the Russian Orthodox Church
Russian Orthodox Church
The Russian Orthodox Church or, alternatively, the Moscow Patriarchate The ROC is often said to be the largest of the Eastern Orthodox churches in the world; including all the autocephalous churches under its umbrella, its adherents number over 150 million worldwide—about half of the 300 million...

 during the early years of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

, 1917 through 1925.

Early life


From 1878 to 1883, Bellavin studied at the Pskov
Pskov
Pskov is an ancient city and the administrative center of Pskov Oblast, Russia, located in the northwest of Russia about east from the Estonian border, on the Velikaya River. Population: -Early history:...

 Theological Seminary. In 1888, at the age of 23, he graduated from the Saint Petersburg Theological Academy
Saint Petersburg Theological Academy
The Saint Petersburg Theological Academy is a theological seminary in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The academy grants master and doctorate degrees preparing theologians and priests for the Eastern Orthodox Church. It was founded in 1797 by Gabriel , Metropolitan of Saint Petersburg, as part of the...

 as a layman. He then returned to the Pskov Seminary and became an instructor of Moral and Dogmatic Theology. In 1891, at the age of 26, he took monastic vows
Monk
A monk is a person who practices religious asceticism, living either alone or with any number of monks, while always maintaining some degree of physical separation from those not sharing the same purpose...

 and was given the name Tikhon in honor of St. Tikhon of Zadonsk
Tikhon of Zadonsk
Saint Tikhon of Zadonsk was a Russian Orthodox bishop and spiritual writer who has been glorified a saint of the Orthodox Church....

. Tikhon was consecrated Bishop
Bishop
A bishop is an ordained or consecrated member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox Churches, in the Assyrian Church of the East, in the Independent Catholic Churches, and in the...

 of Lublin
Lublin
Lublin is the ninth largest city in Poland. It is the capital of Lublin Voivodeship with a population of 350,392 . Lublin is also the largest Polish city east of the Vistula river...

 on 19 October 1897. On 14 September 1898, Bishop Tikhon was made Bishop of the Aleutians and Alaska
Alaska
Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait...

. As head of the Russian Orthodox Church
Russian Orthodox Church
The Russian Orthodox Church or, alternatively, the Moscow Patriarchate The ROC is often said to be the largest of the Eastern Orthodox churches in the world; including all the autocephalous churches under its umbrella, its adherents number over 150 million worldwide—about half of the 300 million...

 in America he reorganized the diocese and changed its name from "Diocese of the Aleutians and Alaska" to "Diocese of the Aleutians and North America" in 1900. While living in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 Archbishop Tikhon was made a citizen of the United States.

He had two vicar bishops in the United States: Bishop Innocent (Pustynsky) in Alaska, and St. Raphael
Raphael of Brooklyn
Saint Raphael of Brooklyn , also known as Father Raphael, was born as Raphael Hawaweeny in Beirut, Lebanon, of Damascene Syrian parents...

 (Hawaweeny) in Brooklyn. In June 1905, St. Tikhon gave his blessing for the establishment of St. Tikhon's Monastery in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

. On 22 May 1901, he blessed the cornerstone for St. Nicholas Cathedral in New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

, and was also involved in establishing other churches in North America. On 9 November 1902, he consecrated the church of St. Nicholas in Brooklyn
Brooklyn
Brooklyn is the most populous of New York City's five boroughs, with nearly 2.6 million residents, and the second-largest in area. Since 1896, Brooklyn has had the same boundaries as Kings County, which is now the most populous county in New York State and the second-most densely populated...

 for the Syrian Antiochian Orthodox
Antiochian Orthodox Church
The Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch, also known as the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East and the Antiochian Orthodox Church , is an autocephalous Greek Orthodox Church within the wider communion of Orthodox Christianity...

 immigrants. Two weeks later, he consecrated St. Nicholas Cathedral in New York.

In 1907, he returned to Russia, and was appointed Bishop of Yaroslavl
Yaroslavl
Yaroslavl is a city and the administrative center of Yaroslavl Oblast, Russia, located northeast of Moscow. The historical part of the city, a World Heritage Site, is located at the confluence of the Volga and the Kotorosl Rivers. It is one of the Golden Ring cities, a group of historic cities...

. He was transferred to Vilnius
Vilnius
Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania, and its largest city, with a population of 560,190 as of 2010. It is the seat of the Vilnius city municipality and of the Vilnius district municipality. It is also the capital of Vilnius County...

, Lithuania
Lithuania
Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

, on 22 December 1913. On 21 June 1917, he was elected the ruling bishop of Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

 by the Diocesan Congress of clergy and laity. On 15 August 1917, Archbishop Tikhon was raised to the dignity of Metropolitan of Moscow. On 5 November of the same year, after an election as one of the three candidates for the reinstated Moscow Patriarchate, Metropolitan
Metropolitan bishop
In Christian churches with episcopal polity, the rank of metropolitan bishop, or simply metropolitan, pertains to the diocesan bishop or archbishop of a metropolis; that is, the chief city of a historical Roman province, ecclesiastical province, or regional capital.Before the establishment of...

 Vladimir of Kiev
Kiev
Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population as of the 2001 census was 2,611,300. However, higher numbers have been cited in the press....

 announced that Metropolitan Tikhon had been selected for the position after a drawing of lots
Cleromancy
Cleromancy is a form of divination using sortition, casting of lots, or casting bones or stones, in which an outcome is determined by means that normally would be considered random, such as the rolling of dice, but are sometimes believed to reveal the will of God, or other supernatural entities.-In...

 as the new Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Patriarchate


During the Russian Civil War
Russian Civil War
The Russian Civil War was a multi-party war that occurred within the former Russian Empire after the Russian provisional government collapsed to the Soviets, under the domination of the Bolshevik party. Soviet forces first assumed power in Petrograd The Russian Civil War (1917–1923) was a...

 the Patriarch was widely seen as anti-Bolshevik and many members of the Orthodox clergy were jailed or executed by the new regime. Tikhon openly condemned the killings of the tsar's family
Shooting of the Romanov family
The shooting of the Romanov family, of the Russian Imperial House of Romanov, and those who chose to accompany them into exile, Dr. Eugene Botkin, Anna Demidova, Alexei Trupp, and Ivan Kharitonov, took place in Yekaterinburg on July 17, 1918 on the orders of Vladimir Lenin, Yakov Sverdlov, and the...

 in 1918, and protested against violent attacks by the Bolsheviks on the Church
Russian Orthodox Church
The Russian Orthodox Church or, alternatively, the Moscow Patriarchate The ROC is often said to be the largest of the Eastern Orthodox churches in the world; including all the autocephalous churches under its umbrella, its adherents number over 150 million worldwide—about half of the 300 million...

.

During the famine in 1922
Russian famine of 1921
The Russian famine of 1921, also known as Povolzhye famine, which began in the early spring of that year, and lasted through 1922, was a severe famine that occurred in Bolshevik Russia...

 the Patriarch was accused of being a saboteur by the Communist government, for which he was imprisoned from April 1922 until June 1923 in Donskoy Monastery
Donskoy Monastery
Donskoy Monastery is a major monastery in Moscow, founded in 1591 in commemoration of Moscow's deliverance from an imminent threat of Khan Kazy-Girey’s invasion...

. Among acts incriminated to him was his public protest against nationalization of the property of the Church. This caused international resonance and was a subject of several notes to the Soviet government.

Under pressure from the authorities, Patriarch Tikhon issued several messages to the believers in which he stated in part that he was "no longer an enemy to the Soviet power". Textual analysis of these messages shows considerable similarity with a number of documents exchanged in the Politburo
Politburo
Politburo , literally "Political Bureau [of the Central Committee]," is the executive committee for a number of communist political parties.-Marxist-Leninist states:...

 on the "Tikhon's Affair". Despite his declaration of loyalty, he continued to enjoy the trust of the Orthodox
Eastern Orthodox Church
The Orthodox Church, officially called the Orthodox Catholic Church and commonly referred to as the Eastern Orthodox Church, is the second largest Christian denomination in the world, with an estimated 300 million adherents mainly in the countries of Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece,...

 community in Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

. In 1923 Patriarch Tikhon was "deposed" by a Soviet-sponsored council of the so-called Living Church
Living Church
The Living Church , also called Renovationist Church or Renovationism was a schism in the Russian Orthodox Church in 1922–1946...

, which decreed that he was "henceforth a simple citizen—Vasily Bellavin." This deposition has never been recognized as an act of the Russian Orthodox Church, and is therefore considered invalid by authorities of both the Russian Orthodox Church, and the Russian Federation.

When the sewerage system under the hastily erected first Mausoleum of Lenin
Lenin's Mausoleum
Lenin's Mausoleum also known as Lenin's Tomb, situated in Red Square in the center of Moscow, is the mausoleum that serves as the current resting place of Vladimir Lenin. His embalmed body has been on public display there since shortly after his death in 1924...

 was damaged and a leak occurred, Tikhon remarked, "The balm accords with the relics" . The phrase was widely quoted.

In 1924 the Patriarch fell ill and was hospitalized. On 5 April 1925, he served his last Divine Liturgy
Divine Liturgy
Divine Liturgy is the common term for the Eucharistic service of the Byzantine tradition of Christian liturgy. As such, it is used in the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches. Armenian Christians, both of the Armenian Apostolic Church and of the Armenian Catholic Church, use the same term...

, and died two days later, 25 March (O.S.)/7 April, the Feast of the Annunciation
Annunciation
The Annunciation, also referred to as the Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary or Annunciation of the Lord, is the Christian celebration of the announcement by the angel Gabriel to Virgin Mary, that she would conceive and become the mother of Jesus the Son of God. Gabriel told Mary to name her...

. He was buried on 12 April in the winter church of Donskoy Monastery
Donskoy Monastery
Donskoy Monastery is a major monastery in Moscow, founded in 1591 in commemoration of Moscow's deliverance from an imminent threat of Khan Kazy-Girey’s invasion...

 in Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

. From the time of his death, he was widely considered a martyr
Martyr
A martyr is somebody who suffers persecution and death for refusing to renounce, or accept, a belief or cause, usually religious.-Meaning:...

 or confessor
Confessor
-Confessor of the Faith:Its oldest use is to indicate a saint who has suffered persecution and torture for the faith, but not to the point of death. The term is still used in this way in the East. In Latin Christianity it has come to signify any saint, as well as those who have been declared...

 for the faith.

Canonization


Patriarch Tikhon was glorified
Canonization
Canonization is the act by which a Christian church declares a deceased person to be a saint, upon which declaration the person is included in the canon, or list, of recognized saints. Originally, individuals were recognized as saints without any formal process...

 (canonized) a saint
Saint
A saint is a holy person. In various religions, saints are people who are believed to have exceptional holiness.In Christian usage, "saint" refers to any believer who is "in Christ", and in whom Christ dwells, whether in heaven or in earth...

 by the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia
Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia
The Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia , also called the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, ROCA, or ROCOR) is a semi-autonomous part of the Russian Orthodox Church....

 in conjunction with the great glorification of the New Martyrs and Confessors of the Soviet Yoke on . He was later glorified by the Moscow Patriarchate during the Bishop's Council of 9–11 October 1989. This later canonization process is generally considered an example of the thaw in Church
Russian Orthodox Church
The Russian Orthodox Church or, alternatively, the Moscow Patriarchate The ROC is often said to be the largest of the Eastern Orthodox churches in the world; including all the autocephalous churches under its umbrella, its adherents number over 150 million worldwide—about half of the 300 million...

-Soviet relations during the Glasnost
Glasnost
Glasnost was the policy of maximal publicity, openness, and transparency in the activities of all government institutions in the Soviet Union, together with freedom of information, introduced by Mikhail Gorbachev in the second half of the 1980s...

 era.

St Tikhon's relic
Relic
In religion, a relic is a part of the body of a saint or a venerated person, or else another type of ancient religious object, carefully preserved for purposes of veneration or as a tangible memorial...

s were believed lost, but on 19 February 1992 (or, according to another source, 22 February), they were discovered in a concealed place in the Donskoy Monastery
Donskoy Monastery
Donskoy Monastery is a major monastery in Moscow, founded in 1591 in commemoration of Moscow's deliverance from an imminent threat of Khan Kazy-Girey’s invasion...

 and were found to be almost entirely incorrupt. The relics were placed in a reliquary
Reliquary
A reliquary is a container for relics. These may be the physical remains of saints, such as bones, pieces of clothing, or some object associated with saints or other religious figures...

 and on , fifty bishops solemnly transferred them to the Katholikon
Katholikon
A Katholikon or Catholicon is the major temple of a monastery, or diocese in the Eastern Orthodox Church. The name derives from the fact that it is the largest temple where all gather together to celebrate the major feast days of the liturgical year. At other times, the smaller temples or...

 (main church) of the Donskoy Monastery in a place of honour by the soleas
Iconostasis
In Eastern Christianity an iconostasis is a wall of icons and religious paintings, separating the nave from the sanctuary in a church. Iconostasis also refers to a portable icon stand that can be placed anywhere within a church...

 (close to the sanctuary).

See also

  • Religion in the Soviet Union
    Religion in the Soviet Union
    The Soviet Union was the first state to have as an ideological objective the elimination of religion and its replacement with atheism. To that end, the communist regime confiscated religious property, ridiculed religion, harassed believers, and propagated atheism in schools...

  • Western Orthodoxy
  • Living Church
    Living Church
    The Living Church , also called Renovationist Church or Renovationism was a schism in the Russian Orthodox Church in 1922–1946...

  • Persecution of Christians in the Soviet Union
    Persecution of Christians in the Soviet Union
    The history of Christianity in the Soviet Union was not limited to repression and secularization. Soviet policy toward religion was based on the ideology of Marxism-Leninism, which made atheism the official doctrine of the Soviet Union...

  • Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia
    Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia
    The Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia , also called the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, ROCA, or ROCOR) is a semi-autonomous part of the Russian Orthodox Church....

  • USSR anti-religious campaign (1917–1921)
    USSR Anti-Religious Campaign (1917–1921)
    In the beginning of the USSR, a campaign began to be done to make the state atheist by removing the influence of all religion, and the Russian Orthodox church especially, from Soviet society from the earliest days after the revolution in 1917, continuing until the fall of the USSR in 1991...

  • USSR anti-religious campaign (1921–1928)
    USSR Anti-Religious Campaign (1921–1928)
    The Soviet government had begun an anti-religious campaign against believers after the revolution in 1917. The elimination of all religion and its replacement with atheism supported with a materialist world view was a fundamental ideological goal of the state. To this end the state conducted...


External links