“They must learn, for they do not know” – The conversion of French George Lesier from Roman Catholicism to Orthodoxy



“They must learn, for they do not know”

The conversion of French George Lesier from

Roman Catholicism to Orthodoxy




With this title we publish the letter of Mrs. Catherine Lesier, by which she expresses her thanks for the contribution of our Holy Monastery for the conversion of her reposed husband to the One, Catholic and Apostolic Church, our Orthodox Church.

We used the above title, because it consists of the saying of George Lesier himself, while expressing his pain for his countrymen, himself being French, and because we believe this publication would also help those who have yet to know and taste the Grace of the Holy Spirit.

The conversion of George, of course is by nature the work of the Divine Grace. It is the response of God to his innocent intention, in his personal spiritual struggle which was but an expression of his anticipation for his union with the Holy Church. It is without doubt the fruit of love and of the hearty prayers of his pious wife and of the spiritual fathers and brothers, who anonymously or otherwise, they are referred to in the letter of Mrs. Lesier.

The contribution of our Holy Monastery lies in the divine functioning providence of its New Marmara Metohion at Halkidiki. of the last few years.
We believe that George, as he requested, kept clean the robe of holy baptism and now he reposes in the glory of the Lord. He intercedes for his family, his spiritual brothers but also for his, of the flesh countrymen. “They must learn, because they do not know” he would say when he referred to them. He wished that they all knew, if possible, the Grace of the Holy Spirit which he intensely lived with his holy baptism. Finally George was speaking from experience. For this he was very convincing and he became greatly accepted within his narrow family circle and by his countrymen that came to know him.

We pray that God rest his spirit with the Just and we ask him to pray to God for us who came to love him.

* * *

N. Marmaras 15-3-1993.

My honourable elder George, bless.

I know your time is precious, for this I beg you to forgive me that I make you spend a little time reading my letter.

Personally I thank you for the contribution of your spiritual work at the New Marmara Metohion. I especially thank you and all the fathers of the Monastery, for helping my husband George to come to Orthodoxy and be baptized at 65 years of age. I truly believe I have lived a miracle, because in my twenty years of married life, I had to deal with a very difficult man, especially in religious matters.

When after our wedding – fortunately we married in the Orthodox Church – I learned from someone spiritual that it is a heavy misdemeanour that I had married a heterodox and even as he called him a heretic. I was shaken and I started to feel the weight of my responsibility and guilt. That Spiritual one suggested to me that I should help him get to know Orthodoxy and perhaps if Continue reading ““They must learn, for they do not know” – The conversion of French George Lesier from Roman Catholicism to Orthodoxy”

Met Bloom’s conversion from atheism to the Orthodox faith



Met Bloom’s conversion from atheism to the Orthodox faith

This week’s spiritual lesson: We concluded last week our long series of excerpts from the Diocesan conference by Metropolitan Anthony (Bloom) at Effingham, England, in May, 1983. It occurs to me it might be useful to continue the Metropolitan’s account of his conversion from atheism to the Orthodox faith:

…Then my leader explained to me that everyone who belonged to my group had reacted in exactly the same way, and if no one came we would all be put to shame because the priest had come and we would be disgraced if no one attended his talk. My leader was a wise man. He did not try to convince me that I should listen attentively to his words so that I might perhaps find truth in them: ‘Don’t listen,’ he said. ‘I don’t care, but sit and be a physical presence’. That much loyalty I was prepared to give to my youth organization and that much indifference I was prepared to offer to God and to his minister. So I sat through the lecture, but it was with increasing indignation and distaste. The man who spoke to us, as I discovered later, was a great man, but I was then not capable of perceiving his greatness. I saw only a vision of Christ and of Christianity that was profoundly repulsive to me. When the lecture was over I hurried home in order to check the truth of what he had been saying. I asked my mother whether she had a book of the Gospel, because I wanted to know Continue reading “Met Bloom’s conversion from atheism to the Orthodox faith”

France currently home to 500-700,000 Orthodox Christians and growing



France currently home

to 500-700,000 Orthodox Christians and growing





The Handbook of the Orthodox Church has been published in France, providing comprehensive information and practical information about Orthodox life in France. It presents a detailed map showing the location of all Orthodox parishes, monasteries, and dioceses in France by region, and provides information about Orthodox bishops (members of the Association of Orthodox Bishops), priests, and deacons, and also about clergy who have reposed in recent years. The new publication also contains information on icon workshops, Orthodox choirs, Orthodox periodicals, documentaries and art publications, candle and bookstores, and Orthodox movements in France, reports Sedmitza.

The number of Orthodox is growing steadily in France according to the Handbook, which places it at 500,000. The Catholic publication “La Croix” places the number at 700,000, with a preponderance of Russians and Romanians arriving over the past several years. This number includes the roughly 75,000 who regularly attend services, as well as those who come on major holidays, and all who are baptized into the Orthodox Church, considering themselves Orthodox.

In the late 19th century there were 20,000 Orthodox in France, and 200,000 in the late 20th. There are currently 278 parishes in France (160 in 2000; 238 in 2010), including 21 monasteries, the first of which was founded in 1934, and the majority of which have been founded since 1991.

The number of clergymen has also been steadily growing. According to 2017 information, there are 10 bishops, and 330 priests and deacons (300 in 2010), most of them married with secular professions. The largest number of parishes belongs to the Romanian Orthodox Church, with 91. There are currently three Orthodox schools of theology, including the St. Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute in Paris, founded in 1925, which was the first Orthodox institution in Western Europe.

Until the early 19th century, Orthodox services took place in France only on special occasions, such as the visit of Tsar Alexander I to Paris in 1814. Paris received its first Russian Orthodox chapel in 1816, and the first Greek Orthodox church opened in Marseilles in 1834.

The need for this publication arose from the constantly growing interest in Orthodoxy in France, which has gained more attention lately from the opening of the Russian Orthodox spiritual and cultural centers in Paris and Strasbourg, as well as other recent Orthodox events throughout the country. A considerable role has also been played by the iconography, sacred music, and the beauty of Orthodox rites.

Since 1963, the public information channel on French television has aired a monthly show called “Orthodoxy,” and the Catholic Channel WHO airs a monthly program called “Orthodoxy, Here and Now.” In 1964, a twice-monthly show called “Orthodoxy” appeared on the France-Culture radio station, and a show of the same name airs monthly on the Franco-Belgian Christian radio station RCF. Radio Notre-Dame has had a weekly broadcast “Light of Orthodoxy” since 2012, and the site orthodixie.com has been providing Orthodox news from France daily since 2005.


The conversion of French Photographer Frère Jean (Gérard Gascuel) to Orthodoxy



The conversion of French

Photographer Frère Jean (Gérard Gascuel)

to Orthodoxy

Photographer Gérard Gascuel who worked with Marcel Marceau and Salvador Dali and now is Hieromonk Gerasimos says he decided to become a monk after hearing an Athonite monk singing.

«I was 33 when the editor in chief of an influential Japanese magazine sent me to Greece to make a report about the life of Athonite monks,» Father Gerasimos was quoted as saying by the Rossijskaya Gazeta daily on Tuesday.

Going around the monasteries he came upon a monastery where there is an ancient tradition to keep skulls of deceased monks.

«I went into the crypt and then life was divided: ‘before’ and ‘after’. When I was going back I met a Greek monk and we talked about the meaning of life. His English was poor… And suddenly he started singing!» Father Gerasimos recalls.

According to him, it was then that he decided to become a monk.

«I made a decision in few seconds. Having returned to France, I delivered my report to the magazine, sold my estate and became an ordinary monk on Athos. I spent many years in the Holy Land at St. Savvas Monastery in the Continue reading “The conversion of French Photographer Frère Jean (Gérard Gascuel) to Orthodoxy”

“Sie müssen es erfahren, weil sie es nicht wissen” – Die Konversion von George Lesier zur Orthodoxie ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* German



“Sie müssen es erfahren, weil sie es nicht wissen”

Die Konversion von George Lesier zur Orthodoxie



Unter diesem Titel veröffentlichen wir den Brief von Fr. Catherine Lesier, durch den sie ihren Dank für den Beitrag unseres Klosters zur Konversion ihres verstorbenen Ehemanns zur Einen, Katholischen und Apostolischen Kirche, unserer Orthodoxen Kirche, ausdrückt.

Wir wählen den obengenannten Titel, weil es sich um einen Ausspruch George Lesiers selbst handelt, mit dem er seinen Schmerz um seine Landsleute zum Ausdruck brachte – er selbst war Franzose – und weil wir glauben, daß diese Veröffentlichung auch denjenigen helfen möge, die die Gnade des Heiligen Geistes noch nicht kennengelernt und gekostet haben.

Die Konversion von George ist selbstverständlich ein Werk der Göttlichen Gnade. Es ist die Antwort Gottes auf seine unschuldige Absicht in seinem persönlichen geistlichen Kampf, der nichts anderes war, als ein Ausdruck der Erwartung seiner Vereinigung mit der Heiligen Kirche. Es ist ohne Zweifel die Frucht der Liebe und der eindringlichen Gebete seiner frommen Frau und der geistlichen Väter und Brüder, die genannt oder ungenannt im Brief von Frau Lesier erwähnt werden.

Der Beitrag unseres Heiligen Klosters liegt im Wirken der göttlichen Vorsehung in ihrem Neuen Marmara Metochion in Chalkidiki in den letzten Jahren.

Wir glauben, daß George, wie er es erbeten hatte, sein Taufgewand rein bewahrt hat und nun in der Gnade Gottes ruht. Er tritt für seine Familie, seine geistlichen Brüder aber auch für seine Landsmänner ein. „Sie müssen es erfahren, weil sie es nicht wissen”, sagte er, wenn er auf sie Bezug nahm. Er wünschte sich, daß sie wenn möglich alle die Gnade des Heiligen Geistes kennenlernten, die er selbst intensiv nach seiner Heiligen Taufe erlebt hatte. Von jetzt an sprach George aus seiner Erfahrung. Deshalb war er so überzeugend und wurde sehr akzeptiert in seinem kleinen Familienkreis und von seinen Landsmännern, die ihn kennenlernten.

Wir beten, daß Gott seiner Seele bei den Gerechten Ruhe gewähren möge, und wir bitten ihn, daß er bei Gott für uns, die wir ihn geliebt haben, beten möge.

N. Marmaras, 15.03.93

* * *

Mein Ehrwürdiger Altvater Georgios, segnen Sie mich,

Ich weiß, daß Ihre Zeit kostbar ist, deshalb bitte ich Sie um Verzeihung, wenn ich Sie nötige, der Lektüre meines Briefes etwas Zeit zu widmen.

Ich persönlich danke Ihnen für den Beitrag der geistlichen Werke des Metochions von Neu Marmara. Besonders danke ich Ihnen und allen Vätern Ihres Klosters, die Sie meinem Ehemann George geholfen haben die Orthodoxie kennenzulernen und im Alter von 65 Jahren getauft zu werden. Ich glaube wirklich, daß ich ein Wunder erlebt habe, denn in den zwanzig Jahren meiner Ehe hatte ich es mit einem sehr schwierigen Mann zu tun, besonders hinsichtlich religiöser Angelegenheiten.

Als ich nach unserer Hochzeit – glücklicherweise heirateten wir in der Orthodoxen Kirche – von einem Beichtvater hörte, daß es ein schweres Vergehen sei, daß ich einen Andergläubigen geheiratet hatte, und sicherlich nannte er ihn sogar einen Häretiker, war ich erschüttert und begann die Last der Verantwortung und der Schuld zu spüren. Der Geistliche schlug mir vor, Continue reading ““Sie müssen es erfahren, weil sie es nicht wissen” – Die Konversion von George Lesier zur Orthodoxie ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* German”