Short account of the history

of the True Orthodox Christians in France

“Written by Presbytera Helen Pignaute”


Father Ambrose, with the blessing of Archbishop Antony of Geneva, establishes the Deanery of French Parishes within the ROCOR

With the help of Jean-Joseph, chief chorister and musicologist, Father Ambrose has nurtured an important French mission and achieved a work of considerable beauty, including:

  • Translations of patristic literature
  • French version of Church’s services
  • Writing of icons
  • Publishing of a review
  • Catechesis and lecturing
  • Foundation of parishes in three main cities: Paris, Lyon and Montpellier.



1.      Father Patric and Father Joseph take holy orders, from the hands of bishop Antony.

2.      Father Patric sets up the Saint Gregory Palamas Brotherhood, for the purpose of fighting the pan-heresy of œcumenism and strengthening orthodox mission in the West.

3.      First number of La Lumière du Thabor (Thaboric Light), international review for orthodox theology.

4.      Foundation of the parish at Dinan (Britanny).

5.      The ROCOR anathematizes œcumenism, but, after the repose of Metropolitan Philaret of blessed memory, spoils her path and twists the true faith, by allowing concelebration with new-calendarist priests. Metropolitan Vitaly, in his Nativity Encyclical (1986) states that œcumenistic jurisdictions do keep sanctifying grace.

6.      Father Ambrose, Father Joseph, Father Patric and all the faithfull think it necessary to separate from ROCOR by reason of faith. Archbishop Auxentios receives the French mission under his omophorion.



The Holy Synod of the True Orthodox Christian of Greece appoints Father Patric as an exarch for France.

His Beatitude, Archbishop Auxentios, with Mother Xeni, higoumen of the Monasteries of Petroupolis and Capandriti, and Father Panayotis, Secretary of the Holy Synod, pay a visit to France.

Archbishop Auxentios ordain to the priesthood :

o        Father Philaret (20 October/2 November 1988) in the Annunciation Monastery at Oinoussa (Greece).

o        Father Nectary (22 May/4 June 1989) in Lyon (France).

o        Father Cyprianos (15/28 May 1989) in Paris and to the diaconate :

o        Father Timothy (15/28 May 1989)

At the 17/30 October 1989, in the church of Petroupolis (Athens), His Beatitude, together with other members of the Holy Synod, consecrate the Archimandrite Photios as Bishop of Lyon.

Bishop Photios ordains

§      Father Timothy to the priesthood (22 October/4 November 1990)

§      Daniel of Genova (Italy) as a sub-deacon (12/25 November 1990).


1991 :

q         Father Sergios of Moscow, together with a Monastery in Tambov and two parishes asks for joining the Synod with the help of Bishop Photios.

q         Foundation of the parishes of Tolosa, Pau, Langon and Genova (Italy).

q         Lectures on the history of the Orthodox Church by Father Patric at the École Normale Supérieure.

q         Appearance of a new collection of books published by the famous firm l’Âge d’Homme in Lausanne, this series owing its name to the review La Lumière du Thabor, and beginning with the Life of Saint Nectarios of Aegina written by Father Ambrose. Many books have been published since this date : lives of saints, translations of the Church Fathers, and so on.



v      1/14 January : Repose of Father Ambrose of Blessed Memory, in Paris.

v      12/25 December : during a pilgrimage in Greece, Father Patric, Michael the reader and little Photini, Father Patric’s daughter, die in a car accident. Memory Eternal !



Repose of Archbishop Auxentios of Blessed Memory. The “giant of Orthodoxy” was a strong upholder of the French mission.



23 September/16 October 1996 : Bishop Ephrem of Boston and Photios of Lyon consecrate in Paris Archimandrite Philaret as Bishop of Paris.



v      His Grace Maximos, First Archbishop Auxentios, flies away from the Synod to build a new and anticanonical one.

v      Bishop Photios writes a Resignation Letter to Bishop Ephrem of Boston.

v      Bishop Athanasios of Larissa in a letter to American bishops, states his refusal to continue sitting with them as a member of their group.

v      6/19 October 1997 : Father Michael of Dinan is ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Philaret.

v      3/16 November 1997 : Father Moses is ordained to the diaconate by the same.



1. Repose of Mother Xeni of Petroupolis, great upholder of the French mission.

2. The Holy Synod of the True Orthodox Christian of Greece, headed by Metropolitan Callinicos of Thaumakos, after the report of Metropolitan Christophoros of Salamina, accepts as a member Bishop Philaret.

Under the proposal of Metropolitan Euthymios of Thessaloniki, the French Diocese is raised to the dignity of a Metropolis.



Ø     17 February/2 March : His Grace Bishop Makarios make rasophoroi Mother Ambrosia and Father Maximos, in Paris.

Ø     15/30 June : His Grace Metropolitan Christophoros of the Islands and Mesogaia travels to France with Archimandrite Germanos and, together with Metropolitan Philaretos, does consecrate the new church in Dinan, named after the saints Maelor of Britanny and John of Shangaï.


15/28 December : Father Peter is ordained to the priesthood by Metropolitan Philaret in Pau (South of France).



  • His Grace Makarios is enthroned as Archbishop of Athens and All Greece.
  • Appearance of La Lettre Orthodoxe, quarterly news letter of the French Metropolis.