Archbishop Nathaniel of Vienna and Austria

1906 – 1985

Archbishop Nathaniel (Lvov) was diocesan bishop for Western Europe (including the parishes in Great Britain) from 1946 to 1951. 

Archbishop Nathaniel (Vasiliy Lvov prior to monastic tonsure) was a well-educated and gifted preacher, an avid apologist for the Orthodox faith. One often finds his articles in Orthodox journals of the Russian diaspora. He was born in Moscow on 30th August, 1906. During the Russian Revolution his family fled to Harbin, Manchuria, where he studied theology at the St Vladimir Institute and was tonsured a monk in 1929. He took undertook several missionary trips as the cell attendant of Archbishop Nestor (Anisimov). Upon returning to Harbin, he became an archimandrite. In 1939, Fr Nathaniel joined the Brotherhood of St Job of Pochaev in Ladomirovo (Carpatho-Russia) in 1939.

In 1944, Archimandrite Nathaniel moved to Germany where he established the Committee for Russian Orthodox Emigrants, whose main task was to prevent the enforced deportation of Displaced Persons to the Soviet Union. Thousands of refugees were saved, receiving permission to emigrate to the West. Archimandrite Nathaniel (together with Vladyka Vitaly (Ustinov), the future Metropolitan of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia) personally saved many hundreds of refugees from this terrible fate.

Metropolitan Anastassy (Gribanovsky) of blessed memory elevated Archimandrite Nathaniel to the rank of bishop in 1946, and assigned him to the diocese of Brussels and Western Europe. From 1947 until 1951, Bishop Nathaniel lived in London. However, in December, 1950, the Holy Synod assigned Archbishop John of Shanghai (the future Saint John the Wonderworker) to be Archbishop of Western Europe. The parishes in England and Holland were entrusted to Bishop Nathaniel, who assumed the title of Bishop of Preston and the Hague. In 1952, Bishop Nathaniel was sent to North Africa to administer the Russian parishes there. From 1954, he lived in Germany and cared for the parishes in Mannheim and Berlin.  In 1966, Vladyka Nathaniel became the Abbot of the Monastery of St Job in Munich. After a protracted illness, Vladyka Nathaniel reposed on 8th November, 1985, in Munich. He is especially remembered for kindness and love for his fellow man. A five-volume collection of his writings was published by the Russian Orthodox Youth Committee in 1991.