June 16, 2010

Saint Tikhon of Kaluga the Tree Dweller (+ 1492)

St. Tikhon of Kaluga and Medin (Feast Day - June 16)

Saint Tikhon of Medin and Kaluga, in his youth received monastic tonsure at the Chudov monastery in Moscow, but through his love for solitude he settled at an isolated spot near Maloyaroslavl. He lived in asceticism in a deep dense forest, on the bank of the River Vepreika, in the hollow of an ancient giant oak. Once, during a hunt, Prince Basil Yaroslavich (grandson of Vladimir the Brave), came upon St Tikhon, angrily ordered him to leave his property immediately, and dared to raise his whip against the monk. At once, the hand of the prince grew numb. Taken aback by such punishment, the prince repented of his conduct and with humility asked forgiveness.

He received healing through the prayer of St Tikhon. The prince entreated the monk to remain always on his property and to build a monastery there for monks, promising to provide it with everything necessary. St Tikhon built a monastery in honor of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos, which he headed. He guided the monastery until he reached a great old age, and he died in the year 1492, after receiving the great schema.

St Tikhon's body was buried at the cathedral church of the monastery he founded. The celebration of St Tikhon was established at the Council of 1584.


The holy relics of St. Tikhon of Kaluga (Medynsky or Medin), the organizer of the monastery in honor of the Dormition of the Holy Mother of God, rest under a bushel of the Preobrazhensky Church of the Dormition and St. Tikhon of Kaluga Hermitage. On the territory of the monastery there are: a well dug by St. Tikhon as well as the location of the oak tree in which he dwelled (the oak stood for four centuries but no longer remains whole).

Read more about the Dormition Monastery of Saint Tikhon here.

Apolytikion in Tone Four
O Tikhon our venerable father, thou wast shown to be an all-radiant beacon in the midst of the Russian land; for, having made thine abode in the wilderness and led a strict way of life therein, thou didst live like an incorporeal being, for which cause God hath enriched thee with the gift of miracles. Wherefore, hastening to the shrine of thy relics, we say with compunction: O venerable father, entreat Christ God, that our souls be saved.

Kontakion in Plagal of the Fourth Tone
Forsaking thy homeland, O venerable one, thou didst make thine abode in the wilderness, where thou didst show thy manner of life to be strict; and amazing many by thy virtues, thou didst receive from Christ the gift of miracles. Wherefore, remember us who honor thy memory, that we may cry out to thee: Rejoice, O venerable Tikhon our father!