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January 12, 2018

The Funeral of Archimandrite Placide Deseille

Archbishop Job (Getcha) of Telmessos (Ecumenical Patriarchate), a spiritual child of Archimandrite Placide Deseille who was tonsured at one of the Simonopetra dependencies, reported that Father Placide reposed at the age of 91 on January 7 at 1:00 PM in the hospital. Father Placide went to the hospital on January 5 due to suffering from acute pneumonia. His burial took place on Thursday the 11th of January at the Monastery of Saint Anthony the Great in Saint-Laurent-en-Royans, France, one of the dependencies of Simonopetra Monastery. The aforementioned Archbishop Job with Metropolitan Emmanuel of France and other clergy presided over the funeral and burial services.

Archimandrite Placide Deseille was born into a Catholic family on 16 April 1926 in Issy-les-Moulineaux, France. He entered the Cistercian Abbey of Bellefontaine at the age of 16 in 1942, and later received his higher education in Rome. In 1966, in search of the authentic roots of Christianity, he founded a monastery of the Byzantine Rite in Aubazine, France.

In 1977, the monks decided to enter the Orthodox Church, inspired by their communication with Elders Paisios the Athonite, Ephraim of Katounakia, and Amilianos of Simonopetra. Their conversion and baptism took place on Mount Athos on June 19, 1977. In February of the following year they became monks of Simonopetra Monastery. During his time there, Father Placide translated The Ladder of Divine Ascent of Saint John Climacus into French.

Having undergone monastic formation, Father Placide returned to France with Elder Amilianos’ blessing, where he founded four dependencies for Simonopetra, the chief of which was the Monastery of Saint Anthony the Great in Saint-Laurent-en-Royans on 14 September 1978. In its wake, another female monastery, that of the Protection of the Mother of God, was formed and later came to be known as the Monastery of Solan.

Archimandrite Placide also taught Patrology at the Saint Sergius Institute in Paris, and is the author and translator of many books on Orthodox spirituality and monasticism.