His Grace Bishop Alexander (Semenoff-Tian-Chansky) of Zila was born on October 7, 1890, in Saint Petersburg (Russia). He studied letters at the University of St. Petersburg. In 1921, he left his country towards France, where he stayed since 1925. At the age of 47 he started studying theology. In 1953, he was ordained deacon and priest. On June the 30th he was elected assistant bishop of the late Archbishop George (Tarassoff) of Syracuse (Archdiocese of the Russian parishes in Western Europe under the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople), receiving the title of “Bishop of Zila.