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Tikhon of Zadonsk, St

Tikhon of Zadonsk, St (1724–83). Russian bishop and writer on religious and spiritual matters. Born of poor parents, he studied at the seminary in Novgorod, where he later became professor, taking monastic vows in 1758. In 1761 he was consecrated bishop and in 1763 became bishop of Voronezh. He resigned in 1767 and retired to the monastery of Zadonsk from 1769. Both as bishop and recluse he displayed deep pastoral concern and devoted himself to those in need. He is unusual in Orthodox spirituality in his experience and understanding of the dark night of the soul, though otherwise he is deeply rooted in the ascetic and mystical traditions of Russian Orthodoxy. He is believed to be the model for Zosima in Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov.

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