Hieromonk Father Gabriel Bunge (1940- ) is a renowned Swiss theologian and Patristics scholar who was formerly a Roman Catholic Hieromonk of the Order of Saint Benedict (O.S.B.), who was welcomed into the Orthodox Christian faith on August 27, 2010.
Born in 1940 in Cologne, in 1962 he entered the Roman Catholic Benedictine monastery Chevetogne Abbey, in Belgium, and was ordained in 1972. Since 1980 he has been living the eremitical life in the Swiss mountains.
As a Patristics scholar he has contributed numerous articles and books to spiritual and monastic journals, particularly on Evagrius Ponticus, providing translations of several of Evagrius’ works, including the Letters.
On August 27, 2010 (according to the Julian Calendar), Fr. Gabriel converted to Orthodoxy in the presence of DECR chairman Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) of Volokolamsk and Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware) of Diokleia during an All-Night Vigil at the Church of the ”Joy of All Who Sorrow” Icon, on Bolshaya Ordynka Street, in Moscow.
The DECR chairman cordially greeted hieromonk Gabriel, who has lived a solitary life for over thirty years, saying:
- “Your have been a Catholic, but an Orthodox deep in your heart. Today, before the All-Night Vigil, you have become an Orthodox, thus naturally completing a long spiritual way.”
While congratulating Fr Gabriel on this move, Metropolitan Hilarion presented him with an icon of the Mother of God called “Joy of All the Afflicted”, to which the church in which Fr Gabriel joined the Orthodox Church is dedicated.
Fr. Gabriel continues to lead a hermit’s life in a small skete in Switzerland, never uses the Internet, and the only means of communication with him is the telephone.
List of Works in English Translation
- Gabriel Bunge, OSB. Earthen Vessels: The Practice of Personal Prayer According to the Patristic Tradition. Ignatius Press, 2002. 222pp. ISBN 9780898708370
- (original German edition - 1996)
- Gabriel Bunge. The Rublev Trinity: The Icon of the Trinity by the Monk-Painter Andrei Rublev. Transl. Andrew Louth. St Vladimir's Seminary Press, 2007. 120pp. ISBN 9780881413106
- Gabriel Bunge. Dragon's wine and angel's bread: The Teaching of Evagrius Ponticus on Anger and Meekness. St Vladimir's Seminary Press, 2009. 148pp. ISBN 9780881413373
- Gabriel Bunge at Polish Wikipedia.
- Eirenikon. Gabriel Bunge, OSB, received into Orthodoxy. September 2, 2010.
- Russian Orthodox Church - Dept. of External Church Relations (DECR). Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokleia and hieromonk Gabriel (Bunge) concelebrate All-Night Vigil with Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk at the church of “Joy to All the Afflicted” Icon of the Mother of God. 28.08.2010.
- Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary. Renowned Benedictine Monk and SVS Press Author Joins Orthodox Church.
- Library Thing. Gabriel Bunge.
- Fr. GABRIEL BUNGE, O.S.B.
Interviews given by Fr. Gabriel
- Archpriest Pavel Velikanov. Father Gabriel (Bunge) “Orthodoxy is the Fruit of My Whole Life as a Christian and a Monk”. Transl. Svetlana Tibbs. Pravmir.com. Jan 25, 2011, 10:00.
- (Interview conducted in 2008, when Fr. Gabriel was still a Catholic hieromonk)
- Konstantin Matsan. One Can't Learn to Pray Sitting in a Warm Armchair. Transl. Olga Lissenkova. Pravmir.com. Jan 26, 2011, 10:00
- (Interview conducted in 2010, right after Fr. Gabriel had converted to Orthodoxy)