List of heads of the Serbian Orthodox Church

Archbishop of Peć and Serbian Patriarch
orthodox christian
Manastir Tronoša-proslava 700 godina postojanja 087.jpg
Hrizostom Jević
Acting Guardian of the Throne
since 20 November 2020
StyleHis Holiness
ResidenceBuilding of the Patriarchate, Belgrade
First holderSava (Archbishop)
Joanikije II (Patriarch)
Established1219 (Archbishopric)
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. The position is vacant since the death of Patriarch Irinej, on 20 November 2020.

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, North America, and South America.


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,[1] while Domentijan (fl. 1253) used the style "Archbishop of all the Serbian and coastal lands" when speaking of Sava.[2] The fresco of Sava at Mileševa calls him "the first Archbishop of All Serb and Diocletian Lands".[3] Archbishop Sava III (s. 1309–16) was styled "Archbishop of All Serb and Littoral Lands".[4]


     Venerated to sainthood      Also served as Metropolitan of Karlovci
     Also served as Metropolitan of Belgrade      Current Serbian Patriarch

Archbishops, 1219–1346

Serbian Archbishopric (1219–1346)
No. Primate Portrait Reign Notes
1 Sava
Saint Sava, fresco from Mileševa.jpg 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
Арсеније I
Arsenius I
Saint Arsenije I Sremac.jpeg 1233–1263 Sava's disciple.
Moved the seat to Peć amid foreign invasion.[5]
Born in Syrmia.
3 Sava II
Сава II
Sabbas II
Loza Nemanjica Decani e 5.jpg 1263–1271 Sava's nephew.
Born at Ras as Predislav Nemanjić / Предислав Немањић.
4 Danilo I
Данило I
Daniel I
No image.png 1271–1272 Replaced due to unknown reason.[6]
5 Joanikije I
Јоаникије I
Joannicius I
No image.png 1272–1276 Disciple of Sava II. Buried at Sopoćani.
Seat vacant 1276–1279
6 Jevstatije I
Јевстатије I
Eustathius I
No image.png 1279–4 January 1286 Moved the seat to Žiča in 1285.[5]
Relics buried at Patriarchate of Peć.
Born in Budimlje.
7 Jakov I
Јаков I
Jacob I
No image.png 1286–1292 Moved the seat to Peć in 1291 amid foreign invasion,[5] likely final transfer.[7]
8 Jevstatije II
Јевстатије II
Eustathius II
No image.png 1292–1309 Established seven new eparchies.
9 Sava III
Сава III
Sabbas III
No image.png 1309–1316 Styled "Archbishop of All Serb and Maritime Lands".
10 Nikodim I
Никодим I
Nicodemus I
Stefan Decanski Coronation.jpg 1316–1324 Co-founder of the Vratna monastery.
11 Danilo II
Данило II
Daniel II
DaniloII.jpg 1324–1337 Hagiographer.
12 Joanikije II
Јоаникије II
Joannicius II
Joanikije II.jpg 3 January 1338–6 April 1346 Elevated to Patriarch.
Born in Prizren.

Patriarchs, 1346–1766

First Serbian Patriarchate of Peć (1346–1463)
No. Primate Portrait Reign Notes
1 Joanikije II
Јоаникије II
Joannicius II
Joanikije II.jpg 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
Сава IV
Sabbas IV
No image.png 1354–1375
3 Jefrem I
Јефрем I
Ephraem I
Serbian Patriarch Jefrem.jpg 3 October 1375–1380 First tenure.
4 Spiridon I
Спиридон I
Spyridon I
Serbian Patriarch Spiridon.jpg 1380–11 August 1389
(3) Jefrem I
Јефрем I
Ephraem I
Serbian Patriarch Jefrem.jpg 1389–1390 Second tenure.
5 Danilo III
Данило III
Daniel III
Serbian Patriarch Danilo III.jpg 1390–1396
6 Sava V
Сава V
Sabbas V
No image.png 1396–1406
7 Danilo IV
Данило IV
Daniel IV
No image.png 1406
8 Kirilo I
Кирило I
Cyril I
No image.png 1407–1419
9 Nikon I
Никон I
Nicon I
No image.png 1420–1435
10 Teofan I
Теофан I
Theophanes I
No image.png 1435–1446
11 Nikodim II
Никодим II
Nicodemus II
No image.png 1446–1455
12 Arsenije II
Арсеније II
Arsenius II
No image.png 1457–1463
First Ottoman abolishment (1463–1557)[A]
See vacant due to Ottoman abolition and transfer of jurisdiction to Archbishopric of Ohrid
No. Primate Portrait Reign Notes
Jovan I
Јован I
John I
No image.png 1508 Mentioned as "Guardian of the Throne of Saint Sava".
No image.png 1524 Styled "Serbian Metropolitan".
Pavle I
Павле I
Paul I
No image.png 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)
No. Primate Portrait Reign Notes
13 Makarije I
Макарије I
Macarius I
Makarije Sokolovic.jpg 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
Антоније I
Anthony I
No image.png 1571–1575 Surnamed Sokolović (Соколовић).
15 Gerasim I
Герасим I
Gerasimus I
No image.png 1575–1586 Surnamed Sokolović (Соколовић).
16 Savatije I
Саватије I
Sabbatios I
Savatije Sokolović.jpg 1586 Born in Prijepolje, surnamed Sokolović (Соколовић).
17 Nikanor I
Никанор I
Nicanor I
No image.png 1588 Records lacking
18 Jerotej I
Јеротеј I
Hieroteos I
No image.png 1589–1590
19 Filip I
Филип I
Philip I
No image.png 1591–1592
20 Jovan II
Јован II
John II
Jovan Kantul, by Georgije Mitrofanović.jpg 1592–1613 Surnamed Kantul (Кантул).
21 Pajsije I
Пајсије I
Paisius I
No image.png 1614–1647 Born in Janjevo.
22 Gavrilo I
Гаврило I
Gabriel I
No image.png 1648–1655 Born in Štitkovo, surnamed Rajić (Рајић).
23 Maksim
No image.png 1655–1674 Born in Skopje.
24 Arsenije III
Арсеније III
Arsenius III
Arsenije III.jpg 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
Калиник I
Callinicus I
No image.png 1691–1710 Ethnic Greek.
Maintained the Serbian Patriarchate in turbulent times after the First Serbian Migration from the Ottoman Empire.
Born in Skopje.
26 Atanasije I
Атанасије I
Athanasius I
No image.png 1711–1712
27 Mojsije I
Мојсије I
Moses I
No image.png 1712–1725 Surnamed Rajović (Рајовић).
28 Arsenije IV
Арсеније IV
Arsenius IV
Arsenije IV Jovanović Šakabenta.jpg 1725–1737 Leader of the Second Serbian Migration into the Habsburg Monarchy.
Born in Peć, surnamed Jovanović Šakabenta (Јовановић Шакабента).
29 Joanikije III
Јоаникије III
Joannicius III
No image.png 1739–1746 Ethnic Greek.
Afterwards reigned as Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, from 1761 to 1763.
Surnamed Karadža (Караџа).
30 Atanasije II
Атанасије II
Athanasius II
No image.png 1746–1752 Born in Skopje, surnamed Gavrilović (Гавриловић).
31 Gavrilo II
Гаврило II
Gabriel II
No image.png 1752 Born in Sarajevo, surnamed Mihajlović (Михајловић).
32 Gavrilo III
Гаврило III
Gabriel III
No image.png 1752–1758 Bynamed Nikolin (Николин).
33 Vikentije I
Викентије I
Vicentius I
No image.png 1758 Surnamed Stefanović (Стефановић).
34 Pajsije II
Пајсије II
Paisius II
No image.png 1758 Ethnic Greek.
35 Gavrilo IV
Гаврило IV
Gabriel IV
No image.png 1758 Ethnic Greek.
36 Kirilo II
Кирило II
Cyril II
No image.png 1758–1763
37 Vasilije
No image.png 1763–1765 Surnamed Jovanović-Brkić (Јовановић-Бркић).
38 Kalinik II
Калиник II
Callinicus II
No image.png 1765–1766 Ethnic Greek.
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.

Patriarchs, 1920–present

Serbian Patriarchate of Belgrade (Peć) (1920–present)
No. Primate Portrait Reign Notes
39 Dimitrije
Димитрије (Павловић).jpg 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
Патриарх Варнава.jpg 12 May 1930 23 July 1937 Died under unclear circumstances (possible poisoning).
Born in Pljevlja as Petar Rosić / Петар Росић.
41 Gavrilo V
Гaврилo V
Gabriel V
Патријарх Гаврило (Дожић).jpg 21 February 1938 7 May 1950 Commonly known as Gavrilo.
Born in Vrujci as Gavrilo Dožić / Гaврилo Дoжић.
42 Vikentije II
Викентије II
Vicentius II
No image.png 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
Patrijarh Srpski German by Stevan Kragujevic.JPG 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
Patrijarh Pavle.jpg 1 December 1990 15 November 2009 Born in Kućanci as Gojko Stojčević / Гојко Стојчевић.
45 Irinej
Патриарх Сербский Ириней (cropped).jpg 23 January 2010 20 November 2020 Died of complications caused by COVID-19.
Born in Vidova as Miroslav Gavrilović / Мирослав Гавриловић.

See also


  • A The Ottomans did not recognize the official title of "Archbishop of Peć and Serbian Patriarch". However, church records still record these three men as Patriarchs even though they did not serve in full title. They were still known as the guardians or protectors of the "throne of Saint Sava".
  • B The patriarchs hold the title of Archbishop of Peć, Metropolitan of Belgrade and Karlovci, and Serbian Patriarch and are considered the successors to the Patriarchal throne of Peć. However, the Patriarchy is based in Belgrade, Serbia.


  1. ^ Miklosich 1858, pp. 18–19.
  2. ^ Radovan Samardžić; Milan Duškov (1993). Serbs in European civilization. Nova. p. 27. ISBN 978-86-7583-015-3.
  3. ^ Svetislav Mandić (1986). Velika gospoda sve srpske zemlje i drugi prosopografski prilozi. Srpska književna zadruga. p. 69.
  4. ^ Miklosich 1858, pp. 76–77, 82–83.
  5. ^ a b c Marjanović 2001, p. 73.
  6. ^ Slijepčević 2002.
  7. ^ Bogdanović 1972, p. 29.


External links

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