MOSCOW: January 21, 2010
Bishop Michael of Geneva and Western Europe Speaks at the Opening of the Winter Session of the 20th Annual Theological Conference at St Tikhon University
The Winter Session of the 20th Annual Theological Conference at the Orthodox St Tikhon Humanitarian University, founded in honor of St Tikhon (Bellavin), Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, opened on January 20, 2010, in Moscow.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the canonization of St Tikhon (by the Moscow Patriarchate--edit.], 145 years since his birth and 85 years since his righteous repose.
As reported by the University’s press office, the University Rector, Protopriest Vladimir Vorobiov, opened the event with a lecture on St Tikhon.
“At any critical point in history,” said Fr Vladimir “when normal life is disrupted, when the course of history is upset with grand cataclysms, throwing everything and everyone into an abyss, when death and despair loom from all sides, God sends His saints, people of special courage and selflessness, podvizhniki of faith and love… In our history, we will likely not find among the glorified hierarchs of Moscow anyone who was called to the helm of church life at such a difficult and tragic period as Holy Patriarch Tikhon.”
The University Rector feels that “the podvig of the saint consists of the fact that when the Soviet state was strengthening, the persecutions of the Church gained momentum, he was patient, he endured persecution without anger, maintaining a peaceful spirit… He tried to protect his brethren from arrest and execution. His Holiness bore the entire brunt himself. His holiness shone especially brightly at the time. Preserving humility and meekness in the midst of the hurricane, he showed everyone the path to holiness,” stressed Protopriest Vladimir.
His Grace Bishop Michael of Geneva and Western Europe of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia spoke about the veneration of St Tikhon in the Russian diaspora. At a time when the world could not accept the Bolshevik regime, His Holiness Patriarch Tikhon struck a chord in the hearts of people in many countries. “The hierarch was the Primate of the fullness of the Russian Church,” declared Vladyka Michael. “He was the foundation of unity.”
The conference is scheduled to continue until January 23, and will include 20 sections and round tables.