Jean-Nectaire (Kovalevsky) of Saint-Denis

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Consecration of Bishop Jean-Nectaire (l) by St. John Maximovitch (r)

His Excellency, the Right Reverend Bishop Jean-Nectaire (Kovalevsky) of Saint-Denis was the first hierarch of the Orthodox Church of France (1966-1970). He was glorified as a saint by the Orthodox Church of the Gauls on October 12, 2008, which celebrates his feast day on January 30.


Bp. Jean-Nectaire was born Evgraph Kovalevsky in St. Petersburg, Russia, on April 8, 1905. He was the brother of the deacon and musicologist Maxime Kovalevsky (1903-1988) and the historian Pierre Kovalevsky (1901-1979). He was co-founder with Vladimir Lossky of the Brotherhood of St. Photius (1925) and the St Denys Institute (1944). He was ordained a priest of the Moscow Patriarchate by Metropolitan Eleutherius (Bogoyavlenky) in 1937. Upon the death of Archimandrite Irénée (Louis-Charles) Winnaert, he was placed in charge of the newly formed Western Orthodox Church established by Metropolitan Sergius, the Patriarchal locum tenens of Moscow. The Holy Synod of the Church of Russia conferred upon him the title Doctor of Divinity in 1952. In 1966, he was tonsured by Archbishop John Maximovitch, given the monastic name of Jean-Nectaire, consecrated bishop (with the assistance Theophilus (Ionescu) of Sèvres), and installed as the first Bishop of Saint-Denis in the modern era, making him the hierarch of the Western Rite diocese now known as the Orthodox Church of France. He reposed on January 30, 1970.


His major published works are

  1. La Sainte Messe selon l'ancien rite des Gaules ou Liturgie selon S. Germain de Paris. Le canon eucharistique de l'ancien rite des Gaules.
  2. Homélies. Quelques enseignements spirituels donnés en l'Eglise Saint Irénée.
  3. Message de Noël.
  4. Pierre et Paul. Leur signification. Leur place dans la tradition chrétienne catholique orthodox.
  5. Quarante Degrés ou quarante Immolation de Carême.
  6. La Sainte Messe selon St Germain de Paris et le chant des fideèles.
  7. Initiation à la Genèse.
  8. Technique de la prière. (Published in English as A Method of Prayer for Modern Times, Praxis, 1993, ISBN 978-1872292182).
  9. Le chemin de la vie et la destinée de l'âme après la mort.
  10. Ezéchiel.
  11. Le mystère des origines.
  12. Initiation trinitaire.
  13. La liturgie céleste.
  14. Marie, Vierge et Mère.
  15. Les chemins de l'homme.
  16. Le Verbe incarné.
  17. La quête de l’Esprit.
  18. Le sens de l'exode.
  19. Le carême.

External link