Metropolitan Nifont of Lutsk and Volyna
Mgr. Simon (in the world Vladimir Nikolaevich Ishunin) was born on December 7, 1951, in Leningrad (Saint Petersburg) into a priest's family. After the end of his secondary studies, he studied in the Seminary and in the Academy of Theology, which he completed in 1979.
On January 17, 1975, he was tonsured a monk by Metropolitan Nikodim (Rotov, +1978) of Leningrad and Novgorod, with the name of Simon (in honor of the Apostle Simon-Peter). On January 19, 1975, in the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity of the Lavra of Saint Alexander Nevsky in Leningrad, he was ordained a hierodeacon, and on June 13, 1976, hieromonk.
Between 1975 and 1978, he was the private secretary of Metropolitan Nikodim. From 1978 to 1981, he was the assistant of the inspector and teacher of the Seminary and of the Academy of Theology. In 1981-1982, he was a monk in the Monastery of New Valaam in Finland. In 1981, he presented his thesis for his licence in the subject of Russian Church History on the theme of "His Eminence Metropolitan Nikodim of Leningrad and Novgorod (Life and Activity)." In 1982, he was elevated by Metropolitan Anthony (Melnikov, +1986) to the rank of archimandrite and named rector of the Cathedral of the Exaltation of the Cross in Petrozavodsk and dean of the churches of the Diocese of Olonets.
By the decision of His Holiness Patriarch Pimen of Moscow and of the Holy Synod, on March 23, 1987, Archimandrite Simon was named Bishop of Brussels and Belgium. ON APril 10, 1987, the eve of the Saturday of Lazarus, in the Church of Saint John the Theologian of the Schools of Theology of Leningrad took place his nomination as bishop. The consecration took place the next day, April 11, 1987, and was presided over by Metropolitan Alexis (Ridiger) of Leningrad (the present-day Patriarch Alexis II).
Since August 30, 1991, he equally administered the Diocese of the Hague and the Netherlands. On February 20, 1994, Mgr. Simon was elevated to the rank of archbishop. In February 2003, he received the order of Saint Sergius of Radonezh 2nd class.