Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow and Enlightener of North America
Tone of the week: Tone Three
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.
Resurrectional Apolytikion in the Third Tone
Let the Heavens rejoice; let earthly things be glad; for the Lord hath wrought might with His arm, He hath trampled upon death by death. The first-born of the dead hath He become. From the belly of Hades hath He delivered us, and hath granted great mercy to the world.
Apolytikion 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.
Seasonal Kontakion in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone
To you, Theotokos, invincible Defender, having been delivered from peril, I, your city, dedicate the victory festival as a thank offering. In your irresistible might, keep me safe from all trials, that I may call out to you: "Hail, unwedded bride!"