Paris, July 4, 2022
The occasion was celebrated with a solemn Divine Liturgy in the Paris Cathedral of St. Alexander Nevsky, celebrated by His Eminence Metropolitan John of Dubna and the Archdiocese’s vicar bishops, His Grace Symeon of Domodedovo and His Grace Elisha of Reoutov, the Archdiocese reports.
“The celebration took place with fervour and emotion, aroused simultaneously by the Jubilee character and the painful tribulations which particularly affect the Orthodox peoples from whom many members of the Archdiocese come,” writes the Archdiocese.
In his homily, Met. John emphasized that the Archdiocese has been carried by these faithful people who, “often in destitution, wanted and knew how to transmit the Orthodox faith in this Western European context.”
The Archdiocese has a complicated history. It was created by decree of St. Tikhon of Moscow on March 26/April 8, 1921, but in the ensuing decades it changed jurisdictions several times, and was at times without jurisdictional oversight. Most recently, the Archdiocese was under the Patriarchate of Constantinople, but when the Synod of Constantinople unexpectedly decided to revoke its Exarchate status, Met. John eventually led it back into the Russian Church.
“After recalling that during the 20th century the Russian land was an altar of millions of sacrifices in the name of Christ, he underlined, citing Saint Seraphim of Sarov, that to be a Christian is to open one’s soul to the Holy Spirit and to His peace.”
His Eminence then read out the congratulatory letter from Patriarch Kirill, and called for prayers “that the Archdiocese will continue its vocation of mission carried by the saints of Russia and Western Europe.”
In the afternoon, a lecture was offered by Professor Oleg Kobtzeff of the St. Sergius Institute in Paris, recounting the Archdiocese’s history.
On this occasion, a new site dedicated to the Centenary of the Archdiocese was unveiled, presenting documents, videos, and audio in English, French, and Russian.