Archbishop of Peć and Serbian Patriarch
since 19 February 2021
|Residence||Building of the Patriarchate, Belgrade|
|First holder|| Sava (Archbishop)|
Joanikije II (Patriarch)
1346 and 1920 (Patriarchate)
This article lists the heads of the Serbian Orthodox Church, since the establishment of the church as an autocephalous archbishopric in 1219 to today's patriarchate. The list includes all the archbishops and patriarchs that led the Serbian Orthodox Church under the Serbian Archbishopric and Serbian Patriarchate of Peć. Today, the church is unified under a patriarch who is officially styled as Archbishop of Peć, Metropolitan of Belgrade and Karlovci, and Serbian Patriarch. Patriarch Porfirije acceded to this position on 19 February 2021.
The autocephalous Serbian Archbishopric was founded in 1219 by Sava, under the authority of the ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople. In 1346, when Stefan Dušan proclaimed himself emperor, he also elevated the archiepiscopal see of Peć to the rank of a patriarchate, creating the Serbian Patriarchate of Peć. This was only recognized by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in 1375.
After the Ottoman conquest of the Serbian Despotate in 1459, the patriarchate gradually lost its importance. At times the church was forced by the Ottoman government to install Greeks in the office. From 1766 to 1920 the patriarchate was abolished and all ecclesiastical jurisdiction was given to the patriarch of Constantinople. A metropolitan see was maintained in Belgrade from 1766 afterwards. There were also independent Serbian Orthodox sees based in Karlovci and in Montenegro.
In 1920, the church was reunified and the patriarchy was reestablished with the see moving to Belgrade, but retaining the lineage of the throne of Saint Sava in Peć. The patriarch holds ecclesiastical authority over the Orthodox Church in the territory of the former Yugoslavia, and also over the Serbian Orthodox diaspora in Western Europe, Australia, and the Americas.
Currently, the style of the head of the Serbian Orthodox Church is "Archbishop of Peć, Metropolitan of Belgrade and Karlovci, and Serbian Patriarch" (архиепископ пећки, митрополит београдско-карловачки и патријарх српски). The short title is "Serbian Patriarch" (патријарх српски). Historically, various styles have been used.
Archbishop Sava (s. 1219–33) was styled "Archbishop of Serb Lands" and "Archbishop of Serb Lands and the Littoral" in the Vranjina charter,while Domentijan (fl. 1253) used the style "Archbishop of all the Serbian and coastal lands" when speaking of Sava. The fresco of Sava at Mileševa calls him "the first Archbishop of All Serb and Diocletian Lands". Archbishop Sava III (s. 1309–16) was styled "Archbishop of All Serb and Littoral Lands".
|Venerated to sainthood||Also served as Metropolitan of Karlovci|
|Also served as Metropolitan of Belgrade||Current Serbian Patriarch|
|Serbian Archbishopric (1219–1346)|
|1|| Sava |
|1219–1233||First Archbishop of the autocephalous Serbian Church.|
Seated at Žiča.
Styled "Archbishop of Serb Lands and the Littoral".
Born at Ras as Rastko Nemanjić / Растко Немањић.
|2|| Arsenije I |
Moved the seat to Peć amid foreign invasion.
Born in Syrmia.
|3|| Sava II |
Born at Ras as Predislav Nemanjić / Предислав Немањић.
|4|| Danilo I |
|1271–1272||Replaced due to unknown reason.|
|5|| Joanikije I |
|1272–1276||Disciple of Sava II. Buried at Sopoćani.|
|Seat vacant 1276–1279|
|6|| Jevstatije I |
|1279–4 January 1286||Moved the seat to Žiča in 1285. |
Relics buried at Patriarchate of Peć.
Born in Budimlje.
|7|| Jakov I |
|1286–1292||Moved the seat to Peć in 1291 amid foreign invasion, likely final transfer.|
|8|| Jevstatije II |
|1292–1309||Established seven new eparchies.|
|9|| Sava III |
|1309–1316||Styled "Archbishop of All Serb and Maritime Lands".|
|10|| Nikodim I |
|1316–1324||Co-founder of the Vratna monastery.|
|11|| Danilo II |
|12|| Joanikije II |
|3 January 1338–6 April 1346||Elevated to Patriarch.|
Born in Prizren.
|First Serbian Patriarchate of Peć (1346–1463)|
|1|| Joanikije II |
|6 April 1346–3 September 1354||First Patriarch of the Serbian Church.|
Elevated during the coronation of Emperor Dušan.
Seated at Peć.
Styled "Archbishop of Peć and Patriarch of all Serb Lands and the Maritime".
Born in Prizren.
|2|| Sava IV |
|3|| Jefrem I |
|3 October 1375–1380||First tenure.|
|4|| Spiridon I |
|1380–11 August 1389|
|(3)|| Jefrem I |
|5|| Danilo III |
|6|| Sava V |
|7|| Danilo IV |
|8|| Kirilo I |
|9|| Nikon I |
|10|| Teofan I |
|11|| Nikodim II |
|12|| Arsenije II |
|First Ottoman abolishment (1463–1557) [A]|
|See vacant due to Ottoman abolition and transfer of jurisdiction to Archbishopric of Ohrid|
|1508||Mentioned as "Guardian of the Throne of Saint Sava".|
|1524||Styled "Serbian Metropolitan".|
| Pavle I |
|1526–1541||Styled "Metropolitan of Smederevo".|
Attempted to restore Serbian Patriarchate on few occasions between 1526 and 1541, succeeding briefly.
|Second Serbian Patriarchate of Peć (1557–1766)|
|13|| Makarije I |
|1557–1571||Seated at Peć.|
Full style "Archbishop of Peć and Patriarch of Serbs and Bulgarians"
Basic style "Archbishop of Peć and Serbian Patriarch".
Born in Višegrad, surnamed Sokolović (Соколовић).
|14|| Antonije I |
|1571–1575||Surnamed Sokolović (Соколовић).|
|15|| Gerasim I |
|1575–1586||Surnamed Sokolović (Соколовић).|
|16|| Savatije I |
|1586||Born in Prijepolje, surnamed Sokolović (Соколовић).|
|17|| Nikanor I |
|18|| Jerotej I |
|19|| Filip I |
|20|| Jovan II |
|1592–1613||Surnamed Kantul (Кантул).|
|21|| Pajsije I |
|1614–1647||Born in Janjevo.|
|22|| Gavrilo I |
|1648–1655||Born in Štitkovo, surnamed Rajić (Рајић).|
|23|| Maksim |
|1655–1674||Born in Skopje.|
|24|| Arsenije III |
|1674–1690 (1706)||Leader of the First Serbian Migration into the Habsburg Monarchy. After 1690, reorganized and headed the branch of the Serbian Church in the Habsburg Monarchy.|
Born in Cetinje, surnamed Čarnojević (Чарнојевић).
|25|| Kalinik I |
Maintained the Serbian Patriarchate in turbulent times after the First Serbian Migration from the Ottoman Empire.
Born in Skopje.
|26|| Atanasije I |
|27|| Mojsije I |
|1712–1725||Surnamed Rajović (Рајовић).|
|28|| Arsenije IV |
|1725–1737||Leader of the Second Serbian Migration into the Habsburg Monarchy.|
Born in Peć, surnamed Jovanović Šakabenta (Јовановић Шакабента).
|29|| Joanikije III |
Afterwards reigned as Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, from 1761 to 1763.
Surnamed Karadža (Караџа).
|30|| Atanasije II |
|1746–1752||Born in Skopje, surnamed Gavrilović (Гавриловић).|
|31|| Gavrilo II |
|1752||Born in Sarajevo, surnamed Mihajlović (Михајловић).|
|32|| Gavrilo III |
|1752–1758||Bynamed Nikolin (Николин).|
|33|| Vikentije I |
|1758||Surnamed Stefanović (Стефановић).|
|34|| Pajsije II |
|35|| Gavrilo IV |
|36|| Kirilo II |
|37|| Vasilije |
|1763–1765||Surnamed Jovanović-Brkić (Јовановић-Бркић).|
|38|| Kalinik II |
Resigned as Patriarch, effectively abolishing the post and relegating it to the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople.
|Second Ottoman abolishment (1766–1920)|
|After the Ottoman Empire abolished the Serbian Patriarchate of Peć for the second and final time in 1766, the Serbian Orthodox population within the Ottoman Empire was subject to the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople until 1920. Due to the Great Turkish War between the Ottoman Empire and the Holy League, a large number of Serbs migrated to the Habsburg Monarchy in 1690. This caused the establishment of a metropolitanate in Karlovci in 1708. This see was elevated to a patriarchate in 1848, as a reward to Serbs who supported the Habsburgs during the 1848–49 revolutions. After the founding of the Principality of Serbia, the autonomous Metropolitanate of Belgrade was created in 1831, under the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. It gained full autocephaly in 1879 and merged in 1920 with the Patriarchate of Karlovci and the Metropolitanate of Montenegro to form the unified Serbian Orthodox Church.|
|Serbian Patriarchate of Belgrade (Peć) (1920–present)|
|39|| Dimitrije |
|12 September 1920||6 April 1930||First Patriarch of the reunified Serbian Church.|
Seated at Belgrade.
Styled "Archbishop of Peć, Metropolitan of Belgrade and Karlovci, and Serbian Patriarch" [B]
Born in Požarevac as Dimitrije Pavlović / Димитрије Павловић.
|40|| Varnava |
|12 May 1930||23 July 1937||Died under unclear circumstances (possible poisoning).|
Born in Pljevlja as Petar Rosić / Петар Росић.
|41|| Gavrilo V |
|21 February 1938||7 May 1950||Commonly known as Gavrilo.|
Born in Vrujci as Gavrilo Dožić / Гaврилo Дoжић.
|42|| Vikentije II |
|1 July 1950||5 July 1958||Died under unclear circumstances (possible poisoning).|
Commonly known as Vikentije.
Born in Bačko Petrovo Selo as Vitomir Prodanov / Витомир Проданов.
|43|| German |
|14 September 1958||30 November 1990||Longest reigning Patriarch (32 years, 1 month, 17 days).|
The only retired Patriarch during his life; died on 27 August 1991.
Born in Jošanička Banja as Hranislav Đorić / Хранислав Ђорић.
|44|| Pavle |
|1 December 1990||15 November 2009||Born in Kućanci as Gojko Stojčević / Гојко Стојчевић.|
|45|| Irinej |
|23 January 2010||20 November 2020||Born in Vidova as Miroslav Gavrilović / Мирослав Гавриловић.|
|46|| Porfirije |
|19 February 2021||Incumbent||Born in Bečej as Prvoslav Perić / Првослав Перић.|
The Serbian Orthodox Church is one of the autocephalous Eastern Orthodox Christian churches. It is the second-oldest Slavic Orthodox Church in the world.
German was the 43rd Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church from 1958 to 1990. He was successful in revitalizing the Serbian Orthodox Church to a certain extent during the Communist period, despite two schisms that occurred during his tenure.
Makarije Sokolović was the Archbishop of Peć and Serbian Patriarch from 1557 to 1571. He was the first head of the restored Serbian Patriarchate of Peć, after its lapse in 1463 that resulted from the Ottoman conquest of Serbia. He is variously reported to have been the brother, nephew, or first cousin of the Ottoman Grand Vizier Mehmed-paša Sokolović, who used his influence in the Ottoman Empire to reestablish the Serbian Patriarchate with its seat in Monastery of Peć. Patriarch Makarije is celebrated as a saint in the Serbian Orthodox Church.
Kalinik I was the Archbishop of Peć and Serbian Patriarch, head of the Serbian Orthodox Church from 1691 until 1710.
Dimitrije was the first Patriarch of the reunified Serbian Orthodox Church, from 1920 until his death. He was styled "His Holiness, the Archbishop of Peć, Metropolitan of Belgrade and Karlovci, and Serbian Patriarch".
Kalinik II was Archbishop of Peć and Serbian Patriarch from 1765 to 1766. He was the last holder of that office before the Ottoman Empire abolished the Serbian Patriarchate of Peć in 1766. As an ethnic Greek, he was seen as a foreigner among Serbs, who favored the deposed patriarch Vasilije I. Since his tenure was marked by various internal conflicts, Kalinik decided to resign his post, and even went a step further: he sent a pre-agreed petition to the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople asking for the abolition of the Serbian Patriarchate of Peć, citing accumulated debts as the main reason for this motion, signed by him and 5 other bishops. On 11 September 1766, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople convinced the Sultan to abolish the Serbian Patriarchate of Peć and place its dioceses under the jurisdiction of Constantinople. That decision affected only Serbian dioceses under Ottoman rule, since Serbian Autonomous Metropolitanate of Karlovci in Habsburg Monarchy remained out of reach of Constantinopolitan Phanariotes.
Joannicius III, was Archbishop of Peć and Serbian Patriarch from 1739 to 1746 and Archbishop of Constantinople and Ecumenical Patriarch from 1761 to 1763. The ordinal number of his title is III both for his office as Serbian Patriarch and of Constantinople.
Jovan Kantul, sometimes numbered Jovan II was the Archbishop of Peć and Serbian Patriarch, the spiritual leader of the Serbian Orthodox Church, from 1592 until his death in 1614. He planned a major revolt in the Ottoman Balkans, with Grdan, the vojvoda of Nikšić, asking the pope for aid. Owing to his activities for planning a Serbian revolt, he was arrested and put on trial in Istanbul in 1612. He was found guilty of treason and was executed two years later (1614).
Porfirije is the current and 46th patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church. He was the metropolitan bishop of Zagreb and Ljubljana, from 2014 to 2021. Before that, he was titular bishop of Jegra between 1999 and 2014. He is also a university professor and author of theological works.
Atanasije II Gavrilović was Archbishop of Peć and Serbian Patriarch from 1747 to 1752.
Serbian Patriarch Pavle I was the Archbishop of Peć and self-proclaimed Serbian Patriarch from around 1530 to 1541. He tried to end the long period of vacancy of the Serbian Patriarchal Throne, with limited and temporary success.
Atanasije I was the Archbishop of Peć and Serbian Patriarch, head of the Serbian Orthodox Church, from 1711 until 1712.
Gavrilo III Nikolić was Archbishop of Peć and Serbian Patriarch from 1752 to 1758.
Pajsije II was Archbishop of Peć and Serbian Patriarch for a short time during 1758. He was an ethnic Greek.
Gavrilo IV was Archbishop of Peć and Serbian Patriarch for a short time during the turbulent year of 1758. He was an ethnic Greek.
The Serbian Patriarchate of Peć or just Patriarchate of Peć, was an autocephalous Eastern Orthodox Patriarchate that existed from 1346 to 1766 with its seat in the Patriarchal Monastery of Peć. It had ecclesiastical jurisdiction over Eastern Orthodox Christians in Serbian Lands and other western regions of Southeastern Europe. Primates of the Patriarchate were styled Archbishop of Peć and Serbian Patriarch.
Kirilo II was Archbishop of Peć and Serbian Patriarch from 1759 to 1763. He was an ethnic Greek.
Arsenije II was Archbishop of Peć and Serbian Patriarch from 1457 to 1463.
Antonije I Sokolović was the Archbishop of Peć and Serbian Patriarch from 1571 to 1574. He was the second primate of the restored Serbian Patriarchate of Peć, and nephew of previous Serbian Patriarch Makarije I.
Gerasim I Sokolović was Archbishop of Peć and Serbian Patriarch from 1574 to 1586. He was the third primate of the restored Serbian Patriarchate of Peć, and cousin of previous Serbian Patriarch Antonije I.