BELGRADE: The enthronement of the newly elected Patriarch Irinej of Serbia, will be conducted at the end of the Holy Liturgy at the Cathedral church in Belgrade tomorrow, on Saturday, January 23, 2010.
In a congratulatory letter to Bishop Irinej (Gavrilovic) of Nis, who was elected patriarch by the holy assembly of bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church on Friday, 22 January, the general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit expressed ” extraordinary joy” at the news of the election.
“On behalf of the entire fellowship of the WCC member churches, in their deep commitment to make our unity in Christ visible, please accept, Your Eminence, our warmest congratulations and assurance of prayer that God will continue to bless the Serbian Orthodox Church through your leadership,” Tveit wrote.
Patriarch Irinej succeeds the highly popular Patriarch Pavle, who died at the age of 95 in November after a long illness and 45th Patriarch of Serbia.
Patriarch Irinej of Serbia : Profile
Patriarch Irinej (Gavrilovic) of Serbia was born in the village of Vidova, near Cacak in 1930. He is the son of Zdravko and Milijana. His baptismal was name was Miroslav. He finished the elementary school in his village, and then in Cacak he completed the high school. After the end of the high school he enrolled and completed a seminary in Prizren, and then he finished the Faculty of Orthodox Theology in Belgrade. Upon graduation, he went into the army. Following his return from the army he was soon appointed a professor of the Prizren seminary. Before taking the office of the professor in October 1959, at the Rakovica monastery he was tonsured by His Holiness Patriarch German, gaining the monastic name of Irinej.
On October 27, 1959 at the Ruzica church on the Kalemegdan, he was ordained to the rank of hieromonk. While he worked as the professor at the Prizren seminary he was sent to the postgraduate studies in Athens. In 1969 he was appointed as the head of the monastic school at the monastery of Ostrog, from where he returned back to Prizren and there he became a rector of the Prizren Seminary. From that duty, in 1974 he was elected for a vicar bishop of Patriarch of Serbia with the title of Bishop of Moravica. A year later, in 1975 he was elected for Bishop of Nis, where he has been until now.