chapter  8
28 Pages

Population Movements and Orthodox Christianity in Finland

This chapter focuses on the creation, in France, of several monastic dependancies of the monastery of Simonos Petra on Mount Athos, and more specifically on the metochion of Saint-Antoine-le-Grand, situated in a small valley in Vercors. The existence of the 'Great Athonite Tradition' in France is tightly connected to the remarkable monastic life story of Fr Placide Deseille, which spans over the second half of the twentieth century. Fr Placide's biography provides important information for the understanding of Athonite monasticism in France and of what is at stake in the relations with Mount Athos. Monasticism is a privileged vehicle for tradition in the process of the recent implantation of Orthodoxy in France. The stages of Fr Placide's conversion led him to interpret this conversion as a return to the origins of a Christian tradition that the West and the East used to share.