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Serge Chévitch

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'''Serge (Chévitch)''' was a Russian Orthodox staretz. He was born August 3, 1903, in the Hague, where his mother’s father served as the Russian ambassador, and given the baptismal name of Cyril. He With the blessing of St. Silouan the Athonite, he was tonsured a [[Monastic Ranks|stavrophore]] monk on November 18, 1941, taking the name of Serge (of Valaam). He lived with his spiritual father, Archimandrite Stéphane (Svetosarov), rector of the Church of the Holy Trinity in Vanves (Hauts-de-Seine), who introduced him to the monastic life according to the spiritual traditions of [[Valaam Monastery]] where he had lived.
Fr Serge was ordained deacon on September 11, 1945, and priest the next day at the St [[Alexander Nevsky]] Cathedral on rue Daru, Paris. He Father Serge was then appointed rector of the Church of the Holy Trinity in Vanves. Shortly after, he was also appointed abbot of the Skete of the Holy Spirit in Mesnil-Saint-Denis near Trappes (Yvelines).
During this time, Father Serge began a correspondence with the staretz Chariton, abbot of the monastery of Valaam, who gave him many useful tips for his spiritual life.
Fr Serge made two visits and pilgrimages to Russia in 1947 and in 1977, but otherwise did not travel during his life as a monk, anxious to ensure his parish perfect continuity of liturgical services and to be constantly present and available to all who needed him. He had the qualities of a true elder, which earned him recognition as such, far beyond France's borders, by the greatest spiritual figures of our time, whether the Father [[Sophrony (Sakharov)]] with which he was always linked to friendship, Father (now Saint) [[Justin Popovich]] or the Athonite elders Ephrem of [[Katounakia Fathers (Athos)|Katounakia]], Charalampos (Dionusiates), and (now Saint) [[Paisios (Eznepidis)]].
He was chosen as the spiritual father by figures such as [[Nikolai Berdyaev]], [[Vladimir Lossky]], and [[Jean-Claude Larchet]]. Bishops, abbots, priests, monks and faithful throughout the world, many famous and often representatives of the Russian intelligentsia, sought his advice and make their confessions to him. Yet he had only very few disciples. This is primarily due to its great humility. He willingly repeated that the spiritual life is essentially what we are, not in what is said. Father Serge never preached, choosing instead to occasionally read a patristic text.

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