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Saint-Tikhon monastery, USA
Fiodorova Tatiana
Mar 14, 2007, 04:09
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St. Tikhon's Orthodox Monastery (founded in 1905, previously St. Tikhon's Russian Orthodox Monastery) in South Canaan, Pennsylvania, is the oldest operating Orthodox monastery in North America. Attached to it is St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary, one of the three seminaries of the Orthodox Church in America.

(later Archbishop of Winnipeg, Canada), with the blessing of then Bishop of North America, later Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia, Confessor of Orthodoxy, St. The stavropigial St. Tikhon's Orthodox Monastery was founded in 1905 by Archimandrite Arseny (Chagovtsov)Tikhon (Belavin), and was dedicated to the saintly patronage of St. Tikhon of Zadonsk, the heavenly patron of Bishop Tikhon. From the very beginning, the monastery drew Orthodox pilgrims from all corners of North America, and played a key role in Orthodox mission on the continent.

Knowing that monasticism is indispensable for the healthy flourishing of a local Orthodox Church, the young Hieromonk Arseny, who arrived in America in 1902, conceived the idea of starting a monastery in America. In his vision, the monastery would serve as a "mother house" for monastics who were engaged in mission work in various places in North America; they could return periodically for spiritual rejuvenation. Through Fr. Arseny's dedicated efforts, aided by Archbishop Tikhon's, suitable land was found: the Wagner farm in western Wayne County, near the village of South Canaan. On June 26, 1905, the land for the new monastery was purchased for $2,580 by Archbishop Tikhon and Hieromonk Arseny -- the founders of St. Tikhon's Monastery. An orphanage was started at the same time.

The official opening and consecration of the monastery took place on May 30, 1906. This occasion was the first of the annual Memorial Day pilgrimages. At the opening festivities gifts from Mount Athos arrived: an icon of the Theotokos "She Who Is Quick To Hear," and one of St. Panteleimon; both icons are still cherished by the monastery community. Hundreds of pilgrims from local parishes and from New York carried the icons in a cross-procession beginning at Mayfield. Travelling by train, the assembly was joined at Carbondale by Mitred Archpriest (Saint) Alexis Toth. The pilgrims -- whose numbers had greatly exceeded expectations, so that two chartered trains, with twenty coaches filled to capacity -- detrained in the forest near the monastery and the church hymns were sung as the procession, with the holy icons, advanced through the woods. After some eighty minutes, the pilgrims caught sight of a blue cupola with a three-barred cross, in the midst of a deep forest -- the monastery.



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