Jean-Nectaire (Kovalevsky) of Saint-Denis

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

Bishop Jean-Nectaire (Kovalesky) of Saint-Denis, the first hierarch of the Orthodox Church of France (1966-1970) was born Evgraph Kovalevsky in St. Petersburg, Russia, on 8 April 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 French Orthodox Theological Institute, Saint-Denys (1944). He was ordained a priest of the Moscow Patriarchate by Metropolitan Eleutherius (Bogoyavlenky) in 1937. Upon the death of Archimandrite Irenée (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, 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 authored numerous articles and books, one of which was published in English as A Method of Prayer for Modern Times (Praxis, 1993). He reposed on January 30, 1970.