Tikhon of Zadonsk

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Saint Tikhon of Zadonsk
Late 18th-century portrait
Bishop of Voronezh, Wonderworker of All Russia
Venerated inEastern Orthodox Church
Canonized1861 by Holy Governing Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church
FeastAugust 13 (Repose)
May 14 (Uncovering of Relics)
AttributesVested as a bishop, often holding a Gospel Book or scroll, with his right hand raised in blessing

Saint Tikhon of Zadonsk (secular name Timofey Savelyevich Sokolov, Russian: Тимофей Савельевич Соколов; 1724–1783) was a Russian Orthodox bishop and spiritual writer who was glorified (canonized) as saint of the Orthodox Church.

He was born in the village of Korotsko, in the Novgorod region, Russia. He was tonsured a monk at the age of thirty-four and later consecrated Bishop of Voronezh. He served as bishop for a little under seven years and retired to the monastery of Zadonsk because of poor health. He lived there until he died.

On May 14, 1846, during the construction of the new cathedral at Zadonsk, Saint Tikhon's relics were uncovered and reported to be incorrupt. His relics were kept in Zadonsk. It was reported that many miracles occurred near his relic, so he was made a saint by the Russian Orthodox Church in 1861. His feast day is celebrated on August 13, Julian calendar (August 26, Gregorian Calendar). As a result, another feast day, the Uncovering of the Relics of Saint Tikhon of Zadonsk was instituted to be celebrated annually on May 14.

The life and works of St. Tikhon inspired Dostoevsky and are reflected in the character of Bishop Tikhon in Demons[1] and the characters of Alyosha Karamazov and the Elder Zosima in The Brothers Karamazov.[2]


"Try to know yourself, your own wickedness. Think on the greatness of God and your wretchedness. Meditate on the suffering of Christ, the magnitude of Whose love and suffering surpass our understanding. Ascribe the good that you do to God alone. Do not think about the sin of a brother but about what in him is better than in yourself .... Flee from glory, honors and praise, but if this is impossible, be sorry that such is your lot. Be benevolent to people of low origin. Be freely and willingly obedient not only to those above you but to those below .... The lowlier we are in spirit, the better we know ourselves, and without humility we cannot see God."[3]

"Just as the body has an ear, so also does the soul. Not everybody has an ear that is open, nor does every soul. God commands the soul: do not kill, do not steal, do not commit adultery, turn away from evil and do good, etc. The soul whose ears are open, hears and listens to God speaking and does what God commands. Truly, such a soul cannot but hear God and obey His commandments if it has its ears open. Men listen and carry out the commands of earthly kings and lesser authorities, and will not a soul listen to God speaking if it has its ears open? Of course ! And with what fervor and delight will it not listen and say to Him: Ready is my heart, O God, ready is my heart (Ps. 107:2 LXX)

"For love does not seek its own, it labors, sweats, watches to build up the brother: nothing is inconvenient to love, and by the help of God it turns the impossible into the possible .... Love believes and hopes .... It is ashamed of nothing. Without it, what is the use of prayer? What use are hymns and singing? What is the use of building and adorning churches? What is mortification of the flesh if the neighbor is not loved? Indeed, all are of no consequence .... As an animal cannot exist without bodily warmth, So no good deed can be alive without true love; it is only the pretence of a good deed."[3]


Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainBrockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary (in Russian). 1906.

  1. ^ Frank, Joseph (2010). Dostoevsky A Writer in His Time. New Jersey: Princeton University Press. p. 606. ISBN 978-0-691-12819-1.
  2. ^ See N. Gorodetsky, Saint Tikhon of Zadonsk: Inspirer of Dostoyevsky (1951)
  3. ^ a b A Spiritual Treasure Gathered from the World, Book by Tikhon of Zadonsk, Bulletin for August 13, 2017, Holy Apostles Orthodox Church, Lansing, New York

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