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Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow and Enlightener of North America

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April 7

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Born in 1865 in the region of Pskov, our Father among the Saints Tikhon was tonsured a monk in 1891 and ordained to the priesthood in the same year. In 1897 he was consecrated Bishop of Lublin, and a year later appointed Bishop of Alaska and the Aleutian Islands, with his see extending to all of North America from 1900 onwards. He did much to unite the Orthodox Christians of a great many ethnic backgrounds in North America, so that there was indeed one flock under one shepherd. In 1907 he was made Archbishop of Yaroslavl and Rostov, and in 1913, Archbishop of Lithuania.

In 1917, when he was Metropolitan of Moscow, he was elected to be the first Patriarch of Russia in over 200 years, in times that could not have been more difficult. After the Revolution of 1917, the persecution of the Russian Church by the atheist government grew more bold and more fierce with every year. By nature a meek and peace-loving man, Tikhon sought to determine, while giving only to God that which is God's, what could be given to Caesar to preserve peace and avoid the shedding of blood. At his departure on the feast of the Annunciation in 1925, Saint Tikhon made the sign of the Cross thrice, pronouncing the words, "Glory to Thee, O God!" Because of the many unspeakable sufferings he endures as Patriarch, he is honoured as a Confessor.

Note: St. Tikhon's repose was on the Feast of the Annunciation, which is commemorated in the Old Calendar on April 7. His feast day in the Old Calendar was therefore transferred to April 6 / March 24.

Apolytikion of Tikhon, Pat. of Moscow in the Plagal of the First Tone

To the new world sent forth as a shepherd of the flock, thou wast called back to the old, to take up the Cross as a staff and from wolves and faithless shepherds to defend the Church; and after thee, the sheep of Christ knew no shepherd to be true who kept not thy good confession, wherein, O Tikhon, preserve us unharmed throughout our earthly pilgrimage.

Kontakion of Tikhon, Pat. of Moscow in the Fourth Tone

The most holy Patriarch, ven'rable Tikhon, the Confessor of the Faith, hath gained from Christ the crown of life; for he did labour with godly zeal and strove till death in defence of the Church of Christ.