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The Orthodox Saints of Switzerland

(Excerpt from the brochure "The assembly of all the saints who appeared in Switzerland. The icon - The saints - The feast")


The orthodox saints of the Christian west (...) belong to the orthodox church just as much as the saints in the east. They share the same faith and spirituality of their Eastern brethren. These saints show exactly the same path to salvation that ist still preserved among Orthodox saints to the present day. For this reason, Orthodox Christians, forced to leave their homeland because of the tragic events of the Russian Revolution, sought to revive devotion to the Western saints who were often forgotten in the West and not yet known in the East.


One who did a great deal for this revival  was the famous orthodox bishop Johannes Maximovitch (+1966), who was himself later canonized. At first bishop in Shanghai, he later headed the dioceses of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad in Western Europe and on the east coast of the USA. Thanks to his influence, the Church included the Orthodox saints of the West in her calendar and continues to do so.


Later, a priest of the community of Lausanne-Vevey continued the work of St. John Maximovitch: I can still remember how, many years ago, the later Bishop Ambroise of Geneva and Western Europe, then priest Pierre Cantacuzène, together with Dr. Barbara Hein studied huge leather tomes in the small vicarage next to the church of St. Barbara in Vevey. ... The bishop made notes for the office, he wanted to write at the time in honour of all the saints of Helvetia. At the same time, he designed an icon of these saints, written by Protodeacon George from the Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Geneva.


With the permission of Metropolitan Vitalij, the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, the text was published, and the service was celebrated in Vevey. 


Claude Lopez-Ginisty

You can access brief biographies of the saints either through the icon or through a list of names.

Prayers to all the saints of Switzerland (in German

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