November 18 marked the 100-year anniversary of St. Tikhon's elevation to Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia. Thus we remember the saint whose meekness and humility earned him the love and devotion of all. On that day 100 years ago, St. Tikhon (Bellavin) quoted the scroll eaten by the Prophet Ezekiel, on which was written "lamentations, mourning, and woe" (2:10).
After a valiant effort, first as bishop of the Aleutian Islands and Alaska and later as the first Orthodox archbishop in New York, to unite the Orthodox in America by encouraging the translation of the liturgy into English, he returned to the Russian Empire in 1907. There, in his homeland, St. Tikhon continued his service to the Church in Yaroslavl, Vilna (now in Lithuania), and, eventually, Moscow as the first Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia since Tsar Peter I abolished the patriarchate.
That extraordinary episcopal ministry culminated in his great struggles against the Communists and the so-called Living Church schismatics, who favored married bishops and attempted to impose the Gregorian (Western) calendar and other “renovations” upon the Russian Orthodox faithful. Through prayerful discernment and wisdom, he steadied the ship of the Russian Orthodox Church through the storms, maintaining his simplicity and dispassion throughout.
On April 7, 1925, the Great Feast of the Annunciation, Patriarch Tikhon, having previously endured fifteen months of harsh imprisonment by the Soviet regime in Taganka prison and Donskoy Monastery and subsequent house arrest and hospitalizations, died of ill health due to mistreatment by his Soviet Communist tormentors.
Holy New Hieromartyr Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, pray for us!
Let us praise Tikhon, the patriarch of all Russia,
And enlightener of North America
An ardent follower of the Apostolic traditions,
And good pastor of the Church of Christ.
Who was elected by divine providence,
And laid down his life for his sheep.
Let us sing to him with faith and hope,
And ask for his hierarchical intercessions:
Keep the church in Russia in tranquility,
And the church in North America in peace.
Gather her scattered children into one flock,
Bring to repentance those who have renounced the True Faith,
Preserve our lands from civil strife,
And entreat God's peace for all people!