Life of St. Tikhon the Apostle to America - 10/09/14

Icon with Scenes of Life of St. Tikhon of Moscow
The infant Basil Belavin is baptized in Toropets, Pskov region, Russia in 1865.
Following graduation from the Pskov Seminary and St Petersburg Theological Academy, he becomes an instructor first at Pskov Seminary (1888-91), then Kholm Seminary (1891-97), where he quickly became Rector. Just prior to his transfer to Kholm he was tonsured a monk with the name Tikhon and ordained.
On October 19, 1897, Tikhon is consecrated Bishop of Lublin, Auxiliary of the Kholm Diocese.
In September 1898, he was appointed Bishop of the Aleutian Islands and Alaska, his see being at Holy Trinity Cathedral in San Francisco (in background).
Bishop Tikhon made a number of pastoral journeys, visiting his flock in the remotest corners of Alaska.
On the initiative of Bishop Tikhon, the diocesan see was moved to New York City in 1905 to have more effective outreach to new immigrants from Europe. St Nicholas Cathedral was built there under Bishop Tikhon's supervision.
Bishop Tikhon established and blessed St Tikhon of Zadonsk Monastery in South Canaan, PA.
In 1907, just prior to his departure from America, Archbishop Tikhon presided at the 1st All-American Church Council in Mayfield, PA in 1907, which set a precedent for the conciliar form of church government in America.
In 1917, Tikhon is elected as the first Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia in 200 years. This position had been abolished by Peter the Great.
As Patriarch, Tikhon's first task is to preside at the All-Russian Church Council of 1917-18, an unprecedented gathering which legislates many reforms in church life.
Under Communist persecution, Tikhon courageously guides the Church through a perilous period. He spends time under house arrest in Donskoy Monastery in Moscow.
The difficulties of the Church under state oppression take a toll on his health and Patriarch Tikhon dies on April 7, 1925. He is buried in the small Cathedral of Donskoy Monastery.
On April 7, 1990, the Russian Church (represented by Patriarch Pimen) and the Orthodox Church in America (represented by Metropolitan Theodosius) pray to St Tikhon at the first celebration of his annual feastday at Donskoy Monastery, as his image is borne by angels in heaven.