Lev Gilles

Lev Zille was born in 1892 in the Isère region of France from a Catholic family. He studied philology and biology. He took part in the First World War 1914-18 where he was wounded. After the war, he became an assistant to the well-known psychology professor Clapared, in Geneva. At this time he also had his first contacts with the Orthodox Polish diaspora, who, after the October Revolution of 1917, began to settle in France. A restless spirit and thirsty soul as he was, he became a monk of the Benedictine order and studied theology in Rome, but in 1927 he embraced Orthodoxy and became a member of the small community of Pouss Metropolitan Elogiou in Paris. He was also for several years head of the first French-speaking Orthodox community in Paris and professor at the Theological Institute of Saint Sergius. In 1938 he settled in London as a spiritual director of the Association of Saint Alban and Saint Sergius. At the same time, with frequent trips, he develops an intense and diverse intellectual activity in various parts of Europe and the Middle East. An activity that lasted over 40 years and reached his death in the spring of 1980. His attachment to the person of Jesus, as he used to call Christ, and the spirit of love and humility will accompany him in all searches, but they will also support him in all the difficulties of spiritual life. Lev Zille has been characterized as one of the most excellent and least conformist people of the modern Orthodox world, a man known and yet secret....a free spirit and a humble and obedient servant of the Gospel and the Church of Christ.

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