The Monk Vassian of Tiksnensk (Totemsk)

Commemorated on September 12

      The Monk Vassian of Tiksnensk (Totemsk), in the world Vasilii, was a peasant from the village of Strelitsa (by other accounts, from the village of Burtsevo), near the city of Tot'ma, and he was by trade a tailor. Leaving his family, he accepted monasticism under the Monk Theodosii (Feodosii) of Totemsk in the Sumorinsk monastery at the River Sukhona, where he spent several years in works and obediences. In 1594 the monk resettled not far from Tot'ma, at the River Tiksna, nearby a church in the name of Sainted Nicholas the Wonderworker. At first he lived at the church portico, but then he made himself a cell nearby the church. The monk visited at each Divine-service. For thirty years he wore chains on his body – on his shoulders an heavy chain, on his loins an iron belt, and on his head beneathe his head covering an iron cap.
      Yearning for solitude, the monk admitted no one to his cell, except his spiritual father. He lived by the alms, which they put by his small window. The Monk Vassian died on 12 September 1624. Only at burial was it discovered, how extremely he had humbled his flesh.
      At the place of the efforts of the monk was afterwards formed a monastery in honour of the Not-Wrought-by-Hand Image of the Saviour. Veneration of the Monk Vassian began with the year 1647, when at the time of a deadly plague many received healing at the place of his burial. The life of the monk was written in the year 1745 by the hegumen Joseph.

© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.