Church People Clergy and Monastics Deacon Andrei Psarev

Archpriest Michael Artsimovich

A Priest Who Knew the Russian Church Abroad

Archpriest Michael Artsimovich passed away on this day in 2002.

The future Fr. Michael was born in Berlin in 1922. His grandfather had been a governor in several provinces of the Russian Empire. In 1919, his father married Fr. Michael’s mother, a widow with three children, whose father was killed by the Bolsheviks in Kiev in 1918.

In 1926, the family moved to Paris, where Michael attended a Russian school. The family was pious and faithful to the ROCOR. Michael became a priest later in his life when he was 60 years old. Before that, he served as a subdeacon to various bishops. In the school in Paris, Michael was sat next to Alexander Schmemann, who became his close friend. Fr. Alexander recalled that the latter never attempted to “poach” him for the “Evlogian” Exarchate.

After World War II, Michael moved to Argentina. He had to provide for three children and worked secular jobs. In an interview, Fr. Michael said priests employed outside of the church should be an exception and not the norm.

In 1963, Subdeacon Artsimovich returned to the ROCOR diocese, serving as a warden of churches in Hamburg and Frankfurt. In 1980, Archbishop Pavel (Pavlov) ordained him a priest. In 1982, Fr. Michael moved to Meudon in Paris. He remained in this parish until his death. When, in 2001, a group of clergy went into schism, Fr. Michael remained with the Russian Church Abroad.


“My odna Tserkov’, Odno Telo” [“We Are One Church, One Body,”] Russkii Pastyr’, no. 41 (2002).

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