Centenary of the Archdiocese of Orthodox Churches of Russian Tradition in Western Europe

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Notre-Dame Sovereign in Chaville

In March 1917, in the midst of the world war, a humble peasant woman from the village of Kolomenskoye, near Moscow, saw the icon of Our Lady Sovereign (the last icon to appear in Russia) appear; then it is the October Revolution, the collapse of the Russian Empire, the tragic execution of the imperial family, civil war and misery.

Some Russians, fleeing their terrible destiny, having lost everything, leave for other countries, in particular France, settle in Paris and its surroundings, particularly in the west of the capital. Most of them work in automobile factories, giving rise to the creation and extension of housing estates in Chaville, Sèvres, Clamart, Ville d´Avray.

In 1926, the Orthodox Russians living in Chaville and the neighboring municipalities organized themselves and elected a committee whose mission was to create the first foundations of a parish.

A makeshift chapel is installed in a garage near the Chaville-Vélizy station. Metropolitan Euloge will appoint Father Alexandre Kalachnikov to ensure all the offices in Chaville and Clamart.

This parish was declared to the Prefecture of Versailles on May 30, 1927, under the name of the Russian Orthodox Association of Chaville (official journal of June 22, 1927) placed under the protection of Our Lady Sovereign.

  • 1927-1929: rector priest Georges Fedorov
  • 1929-1931: rector archpriest Georges Choumkine
  • 1932-1954: rector archpriest Jean Maximenko

On May 19, 1935, the first stone was laid for the small church, near the forest of Meudon (currently located at 22 rue Alexis-Maneyrol), in a quiet and wooded site, at the center of the Russian community which is spread over the municipalities of Chaville, Viroflay, Vélizy-Bas and Vélizy-le-Clos. The parishioners, together with their priest Father John Maximenko, built the church with their own hands.

Metropolitan Euloge came on June 9, 1935 to consecrate the altar and celebrate the office of the laying of the first stone.

History of the construction of the parish

Father Jean Maximenko, raised to the dignity of mitred archpriest, was the rector of the parish until 1954.

  • 1955-1964: Archpriest Léonide Mogilevsky
  • 1964-1966: Archpriest Léonide Nikolsky
  • 1967-1977: Archpriest Alexandre Davidoff. Appreciated by all, he has good relations with the Catholic Church of Vélizy. He died accidentally on May 31 in
  • 1977.1977-1990: rector archpriest Pierre Nivière.

Then, the priests serving the parish were successively:

  • 1990-1994: Archpriest Michael Evdokimov
  • 1994-1999: Hieromonk Nicolas Molinier
  • Archpriest Zhivko Panev has been rector of the parish since 1999.

The current chapel has been somewhat altered (different iconostasis and steeple added). In 2002 an interior and exterior renovation was undertaken and in 2005 frescoes in Russian Orthodox style were executed there.

Sanctuary frescoes

Offices are celebrated in French and Slavonic, readings and sermons in French and liturgical songs in Slavonic and French.

The parish today