Flags of The Saints


Flag of Saint Tikhon, Enlightener of North America

Saint Tikhon is celebrated as the Enlightener of North America and one of the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia. Saint Tikhon was born as Vasily Ivanovich Bellavin on January 19, 1865. His father was Ioan in Bellavin, a rural priest of the Toropetz district of the Pskov diocese. From his early years he displayed a particular religious disposition, love for the Church as well as rare meekness and humility. After graduating from the Pskov Theological Seminary, Vasily was eventually tonsured a monk with the name Tikhon and ordained. One of the first Orthodox bishops to do major work inNorth America, St. Tikhon went on to establish the "Diocese of theAleutians and North America" after converting many people on the continent. Deemed an honorary citizen of the United States, he consecrated Orthodox Churches in America during the early 20th Century. The saint was also the primary founder of St. Tikhon's Orthodox Monastery (South Canaan, Pennsylvania), naming it for his heavenly patron, St. Tikhon of Zadonsk.

After returning to Russia in 1907, he continued to win the affection of thousands with his humble piety and loving affection. During World War I, he charitably aided displaced citizens, who flocked to him. He was also honoured on November 5, 1917 by being elected Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church.When the ungodly Bolshevik regime took control of the country, Church property was confiscated and the Russian Orthodox Church had to endure much repression. St. Tikhon openly condemned the killings of Czar's family in 1918 and protested against violent attacks by the Bolsheviks on the Church. At this time, he called Russian Orthodox Christians to unite and strengthen their practices. To avoid further persecution, he issued a message that clergy were not to make any political statements. From 1922 to 1923, Patriarch Tikhon was imprisoned in Donskoy Monastery after he openly opposed the government's decree of being able to confiscate Church property.

As persecution continued, he began to feel overwhelmed, and his strength and health declined. On Sunday April 5, 1925 he served his last Liturgy. He died giving the Sign of the Cross, saying, "Glory to Thee, O Lord, glory to Thee." He only crossed himself two times, dying before he could complete the third. After his death, he was considered a martyr for the faith. The flag of Saint Tikhon is modelled on the crosses of many saints flags, using the black, white, and gold of the pre-revolutionary Russian Imperial colours.

Saint Tikhon is commemorated on March 25/April 7

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"Ours must be an orthodoxy of the heart, not just the mind."

-St.Tikhon of Zadonsk