St. Tikhon Epistle to Soviet Commissar 1918
St. Tikhon the Confessor Patriarch of Moscow
Feast Day November 5/18
Metr. [Patriarch] Tikhon’s Epistle to the Soviet of the People’s Commissars, 26 October, 1918:
While you were seizing the power, you asked the people to trust you, and made promises to them. But have those promises been fulfilled? You gave a stone instead of a loaf, and a serpent instead of a fish (Mt.7:9-10). You have substituted a soulless international concept for our Motherland. You have divided the people into enemy camps and plunged them into a fratricidal war of an unprecedented cruelty. You have openly replaced Christ's love by hatred; you have not brought peace, you have incited class hatred. There seems to be no end in sight to the war instigated by you, because with the hands of Russian workers and peasants you are trying to bring about the triumph of a phantom world revolution. No one feels safe under your regime, where there reigns a constant fear of search, robbery, arrests and exile or execution. You promise freedom, but there can hardly be anything more painful and cruel than violation of religious freedom. The press is blasphemous and full of a malicious ridiculing of sacred things. You have barred the entrance to the Moscow Kremlin – the sacred inheritance of all pious Russians. We know that our accusations will anger you and cause severe reprisals, that you will use our words as a pretext to accuse us of resisting your government. But the greater your anger and punitive acts, the more the truth of our accusations will be confirmed. Mark the anniversary of your rule by liberating those imprisoned by you; by ceasing bloodshed, violence, destruction and oppression of religion. Otherwise all righteous blood shed by you, shall be required of you (Lk.11:51), and 'you that take the sword shall perish by the sword' (Mt.26:52).
Archpriest Michael Polsky, The New Martyrs of Russia. Montreal: 1972, p. 45. Russian version in Nash sovremennik, no. 4 (1990), pp. 160-162.