Nikon was born on [[July 24]], 1507 into the peasant family of Philip and Anastasia in the village of Videlebo, also the village of St. [[Euphrosynus of Pskov|Euphrosynus]], the original wilderness-dweller of Pskov whom Nikon dreamed of emulating as he grew up. Nikon was not the first in his family to accept [[monasticism]]. His older brother Arsenius preceded him.
After his father died, the seventeen-year-old Nikon was able to convince his mother to dispose of their property and withdraw into a monastery, where she lived until her repose. He, himself, visited the monasteries of Pskov, and venerated at the [[relics]] of St. Euphrosynus and his [[disciple]] St. Sava of Krypetsk. His visitations firmly convinced him of his calling to the solitary life.
Nikon entered the employ of a Pskov resident by the name of Philip who rewarded his ardor by sending Nikon to study with a teacher who taught him to read the Word of God. The Lord, seeing the zeal of the young Nikon, directed him to the place of his ascetic effort when he was intensely praying in one of the churches of Pskov, Nikon heard a voice from the [[altar]] commanding him to go to the wilderness place which the Lord would point out through His servant Theodore. The peasant Theodore led Nikon off to the River Demyanka, between Pskov and Porkhov. Afterwards, both Philip and Theodore, who helped Nikon attain his goal, themselves were to enter upon the path of monasticism and were [[tonsure]]d with the names Philaret and Theodosius at the Krypetsk monastery founded by St. Sava of Krypetsk.