of His Holiness Patriarch Pavle
leader of the Serbian Orthodox people was born September 11, 1914 to
Stefan and Ann Stojcevic, in the village of Kucani, in the county of
Donji Miholjac, in Slavonija. His baptismal name was Gojko.
The Patriarch graduated with high honors from the Fourth Male Gymnasium
(high school) in Belgrade. He did postgraduate studies at the Orthodox
Theological Faculty at the University of Athens from 1955 to 1957. During
his stay in Greece, he studied the New Testament and developed an expertise
in liturgics, which resulted in the Patriarch becoming one of the most
prolific liturgical writers in the Serbian Church. For his patient and
prominent work in the field of theology, the Theological Faculty of
the Serbian Orthodox Church awarded His Holiness an Honorary Doctorate
From 1944 to 1955, he was a monastic of Raca Monastery performing different
disciplines. During the 1950/51 academic year, the then-Hierodeacon
Pavle was appointed a lecturer at the Prizen Seminary, a position which
he retained until his election to the Patriarchal Throne.
He was tonsured a monastic in 1948 and that same year he was ordained
a hierodeacon. In 1954, he was ordained a hieromonk and elected to the
rank of protosingelos. He was elevated to the rank of archimandrite
in 1957 by Bishop Emilian of Slavonija. On May 29, 1957, the Holy Assembly
of Bishops elected Archimandrite Pavle as Bishop of Raska-Prizen.
day to the present, he has faithfully shared in the plight of his suffering
people. Bishop Pavle wrote and warned of the present exodus of Serbs
from Kosovo, the attacks of the Albanians on Serbian monasteries, the
rape of nuns, and terrorizing of pedestrians, the desecration of Serbian
cemeteries and overall suffering of the Orthodox in Kosovo and in Metohija.
In 1989, the then Bishop Pavle was personally beaten by several Albanian
youths in Kosovo. The extent of his injuries required nearly 3 months
of hospitalization. However, in the spirit of Christian forgiveness,
he refused to press charges.
It is not without reason that Patriarch Pavle has been referred to as
a "saint who walks." The simplicity of his lifestyle and his
personal humility have found favor by all of those who are familiar
with this virtuous man. All of the Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church
have an automobile, which they use to travel through their dioceses.
The one exception has been Patriarch Pavle. When asked why he never
obtained an automobile, he replies: "I will not purchase one until
every Albanian and Serbian household in Kosovo and Metohija has an automobile."
His Holiness has published Devich, The Monastery of St. Joanikije of
Devich (1989) and Questions and Answers to the Church Reader (1988).
For the past 20 years, he has been responsible for the column in the
Glasnik of the Serbian Patriarchate known as Questions and Answers,
dealing with liturgical and sacramental questions. Through his efforts
the Holy Synod published the new version of Srbljak in 1968. He also
coordinated the reproduction of liturgical studies Christian Feasts
by M. Skabalanovich, published originally in Kiev in 1915 in 6 volumes.
The most monumental contribution of H. H. Patriarch Pavle was the translation
of the New Testament published in 1984 under his supervision. This was
the first official Serbian translation of the New Testament approved
by the Serbian Orthodox Church. If all Bishop Pavles works were
published, there would be thousands of pages and many volumes. Patriarch
Pavle exemplifies simplicity in his lifestyle and is the embodiment
of humility and personal holiness, a most worthy helmsman to guide the
"Ship of the Church" in these troubled times.
Statements and Appeals of Patriarch Pavle
with the Patriarch Pavle
Wisdom will preserve us from wolves,
and kindness will prevent us from turning into wolves
December 27, 1999
His Holiness Patriarch Pavle of Serbia
Pavle in the Neonatal Clinic to which he donated an incubator