Saint Tikhon was born in 1724 near the end of the reign of Peter the Great near Novgorod. Timothy, as was his name at the time, was the son of a poor parish official. After the repose of his parents, his elder brother undertook his guardianship.
His studious years at seminary were accompanied by deprivation and hardships. However, Timothy was endowed with many talents and became professor of ancient Greek before finishing his theological studies in 1754. After the completion of his education, he yearned to dedicate his life to God.
Having been elevated to the rank of bishop, he focused his efforts on raising the level of monasticism, as well as developing the clergy. This he did while zealously striving to fulfil the needs of the faithful at a turbulent time of change during the renovationist reigns of Russia’s liberal sovereigns.
Against the backdrop of Russian high society’s lack of Orthodox self-consciousness, the “Chrysostom of the Russian Church” eloquently wrote numberous works. The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church made an anthology of alll his works and published it under the title, Counsels on the Particular Duties of Every Christian.
This book is characterized by the abundant use of Holy Scriptures, as well as by its simplicity, grace, and persuasiveness. In its pages everyone of whatever age, rank, education, sex, and occupation will find spiritual problems presented along with their solutions. At the same time, it is rich in compunctionate thought that lead to continual spiritual ascent and closer contact with God.
This enduring work, after 49 publications in Russian alone, has been especially beloved by the faithful, for it shows in a practical way the path to salvation and leads us on our own journey to heaven.