His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, celebrated the Divine Liturgy at Saint Tikhon’s Monastery on Tuesday, October 9, 2018 on the occasion of his patronal Feast of the Glorification of Saint Tikhon, the Apostle to America.
Metropolitan Tikhon will remain through the weekend at Saint Tikhon’s Monastery and Seminary, where he will participate in the seminary’s Board of Trustees’ fall retreat and meeting; attend a reception honoring Archpriest John Parker, the seminary’s recently appointed Dean; and open the school’s 80th Anniversary Celebration and Symposium, “Where Saints Have Walked.”
At the conclusion of the festal Divine Liturgy, Metropolitan Tikhon reflected on the legacy of Saint Tikhon, who served as Bishop and later Archbishop of North America from 1898 until 1907.
“It is a joy and a blessing to be here in my monastery and with my brotherhood on this the Feast of Saint Tikhon of Moscow, the founder of this monastery and my heavenly patron,” Metropolitan Tikhon said. “As we heard in the troparion sung today, Saint Tikhon was elected in a turbulent time, and as we heard in the kontakion, he had a gentle manner that adorned him. It is these two descriptions of Saint Tikhon that make him a saint for our own time. We may not have the same experience and intensity of world war and revolution as was swirling through much of Saint Tikhon’s life, but we too live in politically, socially, and even ecclesiastically turbulent times.
“Saint Tikhon arrived in America in 1898, which was only thirty years after the American Civil War,” Metropolitan Tikhon noted. “Many of those years, from the end of the nineteenth century through the early decades of the twentieth, were unsettled and tumultuous, but despite those challenging times, Saint Tikhon was an image of a peaceful and gentle soul that bore the image of Christ. Whether in a position of high authority, or as a missionary bishop in the wilds of North America, Saint Tikhon always was an example of the peace that comes through Christ, our Lord.
“Saint Tikhon’s example is relevant today as it reminds us of our task as Orthodox Christians living here in North America,” Metropolitan Tikhon continued. “Saint Tikhon teaches us that we must always be filled with the peace of Christ, and the joy of the Holy Spirit so that we might, by God’s grace, and through the movement of the Holy Spirit, share some of that peace and joy with a world that only knows darkness, brokenness, jealousy, anger and condemnation. It is our task to share the example of Saint Tikhon in our local communities and in our families, so that we, with the help of our God, may fulfill that apostolic calling, to bring peace to the world.”
Metropolitan Tikhon then turned his attention to Saint Nikodemus of the Holy Mountain, who “wrote a book about how to be a bishop,” adding that “the highest virtue that he saw for a bishop was precisely to be a peacemaker. It wasn’t humility, or love, or authority: it was to be a peacemaker, which of course requires love, requires humility, requires leadership. Our Lord Himself gives such an example as Saint Tikhon’s Akathist says, ‘meekness in authority.’ And whether we are bishops, priests, deacons, youth or laity, we all have the responsibility to be the image of the meek Christ, the humble Christ, to those that come to us.
“May our Lord God, through the intercession of Saint Tikhon of Moscow, grant each of us the grace and strength to do all we can in our immediate situations to bring the peace and joy of Christ to our world,” Metropolitan Tikhon concluded.
Photo Credit: Zosima Sidway