Gabriel (da Rocha) of Portugal

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Metropolitan Gabriel (Metropolita Gabriel I, in lesser schema John, João, secular name Eduardo Henrique Pinto da Rocha; 1938 - February 18, 1997) was bishop of the Polish Orthodox Church.


Born in 1938 in Lisbon in roman catholic family.

After finished his military career as Official of the Portuguese Army, he decides to depart to Switzerland, to the Agaune’s Abbey of Saint Maurice with the intention of becoming Regular Canon of Saint Augustine.

He stays there almost two years until enter in touch with the Orthodox Parish of the Villa, existing near the referred Abbey and his Love for the Orthodoxy begins to be born in his heart in a non-stop manner.

In 1966 he was received into Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia a with name John.

He spent nine months in the Athos monastery Chilandar.

In 1968 was ordained deacon, priest and elevated to the rank of Archimandrite by Anthony (Bartoshevich) of Geneva.

In 1973 was founded the Orthodox Theological Institute of St. Leo the Great in Paris, France (enrolled at the Academy of Paris, with he became first rector.

In 1974 the Portuguese Orthodox Mission was transformed Portuguese Exarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, and Archimandrite John (Rocha) was appointed bishop of the Exarchate administrator. In 1976, Portuguese Exarchate received official state registration and was named "Orthodox Catholic Church of Portugal".

Despite the very positive results of the portugal mission, the activities of Archimandrite John (da Rocha) did not find approval from his ruling bishop - Anthony (Bartoshevich) of Geneva. This fact has prompted Archimandrite John to a change of Archimandrite John ecclesiastical jurisdiction.

He was received by baptism and re-ordination into the Old Calendar "florinite" Synod of the Church of Greece True Orthodox Christians, led by "Archbishop of Athens and All Greece" Auxentius (Pastras).

June 17, 1978, Archimandrite John tonsured the great schema with name Gabriel.

On June 18, 1978, on Pentecost Sunday, in Athens, Greece, in the Basilica of the Monastery of the Ascension in Kapandriti the Episcopal Consecration of the Archbishop of Athens and All Greece, Auxentios I, the latter has been assisted by Metropolitan Gerontius of Salamis and Metropolitan Anthony of Mégora.

Came to Portugal as Metropolitan Archbishop of Braga and Lisbon, Exarch of the Primate of Athens, to Western Europe, the Old Church Calendarist Greek, becoming a member of the Holy Synod of the Greek Old Church Calendarist. Later, accepts calls apparitions of the Pine Slope and his seer, the Mother Abbess Maria da Conceicao Mendes Horta.

March 17, 1984 Metropolitan Gabriel along with James Bishop of Coimbra, established the Orthodox Metropolis of Portugal, Spain and Western Europe.

September 27, 1984 by decision of the Synod of bishops Florinite Synode was established autonomous "Metropolitan of Western Europe", which was headed by Gabriel (da Rocha), which was elevated to the rank of Metropolitan of Lisbon and the Portugal, and First Hierarch of "Orthodox Church of Portugal" with the right to wear a white klobuk.

In 1985, the relations between Metropolitan Gabriel and Florinite Synod sharply deteriorated; one of the reasons became disagreement of Metropolitan Gabriel to the Greek Old Calendarists' teachings of lack of grace in the newcalendar Churches and those who are in communion with them. This conflict led to the separation of "Metropolis of Western Europe" from "Florina synod".

In 1990 Dom Gabriel was received with all the Orthodox Catholic Church of Portugal to the Canonical Orthodox Church, the paternal hand Metropolitan Basil (Doroszkiewicz) of Warsaw, the Polish Autocephalous Orthodox Church, to turn out to be an Ecclesiastical Province, entitled to sit in the Holy Synod of the Polish Orthodox Church, going to be in communion with all the Canonical Orthodox Churches, no need to be reconsecrated, it was recognized the validity of his Episcopal Consecration.

Metropolitan Gabriel died on January 18, 1997 in Canonical Communion with the Orthodox Church in Poland, as Metropolitan Archbishop Primate of the Ecclesiastical Province of Portugal, Spain and throughout Brazil.

His Beatitude was graduated in History and Philosophy (University of Lisbon); Academic Bachelor in Philosophy (University of Fribourg-Switzerland); Student Securitised the "Ecole Pratique d'Hautes Études"; Degree in Theology (Orthodox Theological Institute of St. Sergius, Paris) and Doctor of Theology (Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia).