Anthony (Bloom) of Sourozh

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Metropolitan Anthony (Bloom) of Sourozh

His Eminence Metropolitan Anthony Bloom (June 6, 1914 - August 4, 2003) was bishop of the Diocese of Sourozh, the Russian Orthodox Church in Great Britain and Ireland.

He was born in Lausanne, Switzerland. He spent his early childhood in Russia and Persia, his father being a member of the Russian Imperial Diplomatic Corps. His mother was the sister of Alexander Scriabin, the composer. During the Bolshevik Revolution the family had to leave Persia, and in 1923 they settled in Paris where the future metropolitan was educated, graduating in physics, chemistry and biology, and taking his doctorate in medicine, at the University of Paris.

In 1939, before leaving for the front as a surgeon in the French army, he secretly professed monastic vows in the Russian Orthodox Church. He was tonsured and received the name of Anthony in 1943. During the occupation of France by the Germans he worked as a doctor and took part in the French Resistance After the war he continued practising as a physician until 1948, when he was ordained to the priesthood and sent to England to serve as Orthodox Chaplain of the Fellowship of St. Alban and St. Sergius. He was appointed vicar of the Russian patriarchal parish in London in 1950, consecrated as Bishop in 1957 and Archbishop in 1962, in charge of the Russian Orthodox Church in Great Britain and Ireland (the Diocese of Sourozh). In 1963 he was appointed Exarch of the Moscow Patriarchate in Western Europe, and in 1966 was raised to the rank of Metropolitan. At his own request he was released in 1974 from the function of Exarch, in order to devote himself more fully to the pastoral needs of the growing flock of his diocese and all who come to him seeking advice and help.

Metropolitan Anthony received honorary doctorates from Aberdeen University ("for preaching the Word of God and renewing the spiritual life of this country"); from the Moscow Theological Academy and Seminary for his theological, pastoral, and preaching work; from Cambridge University; and from the Kiev Theological Academy. His first books on prayer and the spiritual life (Living Prayer, Meditations on a Theme, and God and Man) were published in England, and his texts are now widely published in Russia, both as books and in periodicals.

Many Orthodox Christians in Great Britain and throughout the world consider Metropolitan Anthony to be a saint.

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Succession box:
Anthony (Bloom) of Sourozh
Preceded by:
Metropolitan of Sourozh
1957-2003
Succeeded by:
Elisey (Ganaba) of Sourozh
Preceded by:
Nicholas (Yeryomin)
Exarch of the Moscow Patriarchate in Western Europe
1963-1974
Succeeded by:
Nikodem (Rotov)
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