Bishop Leonty of Geneva (1914-1956)

Bishop Leonty (Bartoshevich) administrated the parishes in Switzerland in priestly rank from 1943-1950, in the period of Archbishop Nathaniel’s reign as Ruling Bishop; and from 1950-1956 he was Vicar Bishop of Geneva, under Archbishop St John.

Born Leo Bartoshevich in St Petersburg in 1914, the future Bishop Leonty moved with his family via southern Russia to what was then Yugoslavia. He attended Russian elementary and high school in Belgrade, then studied at the Theological Faculty of the University of Belgrade. In due course he entered the Milkovo Monastery and received spiritual training from Father Ambrose. He assisted in the Holy Altar of the Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church in Belgrade, while also attending the Belgrade School of Music.

Leo was tonsured a monk, together with his brother Anthony (later Archbishop of Geneva & Western Europe) in Milkovo Monastery, receiving the name Leonty. In 1941 he was ordained to the Diaconate, and in the same year to the Holy Priesthood. The first years of his priestly service (1941-43) were spent in Belgrade; and from 1943 he was sent to Geneva where he took up the obedience of Administrator of the Russian parishes in Switzerland, under the oversight of the Ruling Hierarch, Archbishop Nathaniel of Brussels and Western Europe. In this role he was elevated to the dignity of Archimandrite in 1946, and in 1950 was consecrated as Bishop of Geneva, Vicar Bishop of the Western European Diocese under the successor to Archbishop Nathaniel, Archbishop St John.

Bishop Leonty died unexpectedly in 1956 in Geneva, and was succeeded by his brother, Bishop Anthony.