The Lord has blessed and guided Simonopetra per its modern day founder Elder Aemilianos (+2019) and the distinguished – originally in Roman Catholic Theology , more specifically Patrology – Elder Placide Deseille (+ 2019) to found four Greek Orthodox monastic establishments in anti-clerical France. Elder Placide with two of his disciples Fathers Elie and Seraphin journeyed extensively to Mount Athos, the final and decisive step in their search of true Christian spirituality, a search that had started in the 1960’s in the Russian Orthodox Seminary of St Sergius in Paris. They met with Archimandrite Aemilianos in the late 1970’s; after deep and agonizing consideration they diverted from their original intention to cloister on Mt Athos and, after converting to Orthodoxy, [Elder Placide’s conversion required the complicated papal consent due to his high ranking within the RC church] they joined the Simonopetrite Brotherhood.
Soon after they returned to France and founded, over time, four (three communal and one hermetic) exceptionally rich in hands-on spirituality monastic entities, even as they struggle financially in anticlerical France the law of which makes outside financial support for religious establishments extremely expensive. All three of the cenobitic (communal) monasteries have influenced deeply, by their unadulterated way of life, their lay surroundings and have become centers of familial interaction with their widercommunities, often in the mode of early Christian agapes. The Simonopetrite Metochia in France are: