Everyday Saints at the Library of Congress
October 7, 2012
Friday, October 5, ArchimandriteTikhon
presented the English version of his book, Everyday Saints and
Other Stories, the number one bestseller in
Russia, at the Library of
Father Tikhon, who is also the Abbot of the Moscow
Sretensky Monastery, hopes that the experience of Russian
Orthodox Christians of the 20th century, as reflected in
his book, will be interesting to Americans and that they
would be able to relate to it.
"First and foremost,
this is a book about the life of
Christians in Russia,
about the way people live with God in a real and
pressing reality. Of course, the experiences of Christians
in Russia in the 20th century are immense and unique,
despite the fact that these events are comparable to the
persecution of Christians in the early Christian era.
Orthodox Christians in my country do not feel like heroes.
Many were thankful for the hardships that have been sent
to them, because this experience helped them to gain God.
It was a unique opportunity to fulfill God’s
commandments in those difficult circumstances," said
Archimandrite Tikhon at a press conference.
He noted that the uniqueness of the
situation in the Soviet era lies in the fact that
Christians were the subjected to harassment. Nevertheless,
they did not perceive the events as a hopeless and
"They understood that
the country is ill, that a
lot should be changed, but they
never felt detached from the
people who have turned away from
God. I see this as the difference between them and the
secular dissidents as many of the latter were stuck in
gloomy pessimism and heavy feelings. Real Christians
endured the suffering and remained full of faith, hope and
love", said the priest.
However, he stressed that
the book does not only contain stories of the tragic
"The Christian life is versatile and amazingly
interesting", said Archimandrite Tikhon.
Responding to a RIANovosti question on
whether or not he hopes that the English translation of
the book is going to serve for the convergence of
different Christian denominations, Archimandrite Tikhon
said: "In terms of discovering the world and God,
every person, regardless of his or her religious
affiliation, has something special to say to everyone
"Once when I was in the United States I met
with a Texan that truly impressed me. He is a man that has
lived a long life; he was almost 70 years old at that
time. And he somehow quite simply, without showing off,
said that he had never missed a Sunday service in the
Protestant church that he attended. He certainly was not a
theologian, he was a simple man, but he revealed himself
as a true Christian", said the author of Everyday
"In this respect, if Americans find the
experience of the Russian Orthodox people’s
faithfulness as Christians in both good times and bad
times to be worthy of note and motivating, it will be a
great reward for all those who contributed to this book.
But at the same time it is naive to think that all
churches will unite over time and become one. Although the
idea is moving," he said.
Answering journalists' questionson
howhis bookhas become so
popularin Russia (the total
number of copies sold has reached
noted there was no special marketing effort made.
discussthe bookin social
networks, so that did the trick", he said.
All profits frombook sales in the
United Statesand elsewhere will
goto the building of the memorial Cathedral
Church of the New Martyrs and Confessorson
Lubyanka Street.(Lubyanka Street is the
location of the infamous Communist area Lybyanka prison,
where many people including Christians were imprisoned and
"We want tobuild a beautiful and
bright church, marking the triumph of good over evil and
cruelty. We want to complete this temple by the February
of 2017—the one hundred year anniversary of those
well-known events of the past. There are many memorials
dedicated to these events that are now being designed and
considered, and many of them are rather dark and
depressing. But that is not the point of all that history,
not a good interpretation," said Archimandrite
(Translation by Ksenia Dolgova)