Elder Tychon the Athonite (1884-1968)
Father Tychon was born in 1884 in the Russian town of Novaya, Mikhalovka. His God-fearing parents, Paul and Helen, taught him from a young age to love God with all his heart. Such was his longing to devote his whole life to God that from childhood, he wanted to become a monk.
Due to his young age however, his parents hesitated to give their son a blessing to join a monastery. He made endless pilgrimages to many monasteries in Russia, where he often refused to accept hospitality, both to cultivate his own asceticism and to avoid burdening others. On one occasion, he was exceedingly tired, not having eaten for several days. Panagia then appeared to him and gave him some bread to eat, and this experience remained with him for the rest of his life.
At the age of twenty, he was finally given the blessing by his parents to go to Mount Athos to follow his monastic calling. He spent most of his years in a cell at Kapsala, on the southern tip of Mount Athos, where he was also ordained a priest. During this time, he struggled intensely to live an angelic life by cultivating obedience and humility. As a “city set on a hill cannot be hidden” (Matt 5:14), Father Tychon radiated divine grace, with monks and laymen flocking to him to be comforted by his great love. When he served the Divine Liturgy, he would ask the monk who chanted for him to step outside during the cherubic hymn, as he would often be taken up in spiritual contemplation where he saw the Cherubim and the Seraphim glorifying God.
As his spiritual child, Saint Paisios would say: one would always hear from the lips of Elder Tychon either “Glory to Thee O God”, or “Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me”. After Saint Sergius and Panagia had appeared to him, Elder Tychon fell asleep in the Lord on September 10, 1968, in the presence of his spiritual child, Saint Paisios. May the prayers of Elder Tychon help us to cultivate the simplicity, holiness, and great love for God that he maintained throughout his entire life.
Source: Lychnos December 2017 / January 2018