The 60-year-old Metropolitan of Zagreb and Ljubljana, Porphyrios, was elected the 46th Archbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade and Karlovac, and Patriarch of Serbia on Thursday (February 18).
The new Primate of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Prvoslav Perić, was born on July 22, 1961, in the town of Bečej in the Vojvodina Autonomous Region.
He became a monk at the Visoki Dečani Monastery on April 21, 1985. After graduating from the Theological School of the University of Belgrade in 1986, Porphyrios was ordained a deacon by Bishop Raška and Prizren and later Patriarch of Serbia Pavlos in the Monastery of Holy Trinity Mušutište of Kosovo. From 1986 to 1990 he received postgraduate studies at the University of Athens in Greece and in 2004 he was awarded a doctorate by the Theological School of Athens.
Porphyrios was elected Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church on February 18, 2021, three months after the death of the blessed Patriarch, Irenaeus, and became the 46th Patriarch. He was one of the three candidates with the most votes of the 45 bishops eligible for the Serbian Orthodox Church, along with Bishop Banja Luka Jefrem and Bishop Bačka Ireneos. In the final phase, the three names were placed in three envelopes that were sealed and placed on the three sides of the Gospel where the envelope with the name of the new Patriarch was chosen by the commonly accepted Archimandrite Matej from the Sisojevac Monastery. In this way, the Serbian Orthodox Church believes that the new Patriarch is elected by divine intervention, setting aside human interests.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has congratulated the new Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Porphyrios, on his election, according to the Presidency Press Office.
The Serbian President mentions in his congratulatory message to Patriarch Porphyrios:
“Your Holiness, I was happy to receive the news of your election as heir to the Holy Throne of Peja – the throne of our father Saint Sava of Serbia.
On behalf of the Republic of Serbia, as well as all our citizens of the Orthodox faith, I wish you to work long and hard in the field of the Lord in the name of Christ, and in parts of the Serbian family and all the Orthodox people.
On this road before You, there were great and famous Serbian archbishops and patriarchs who knew how to maintain the faith, honor and image of our people in difficult times and to respond to the temptations that lay ahead.
This time, a difficult but honest task fell to you, to maintain the unity of the Serbian Orthodox Church and the faith between the people of St. Sava.
I assure you that in the future, our Serbia together with you will act for the honor and good of all people of good will and good faith, and of all Serbs wherever they live, trying to survive and stay on the path followed by Saint Savvas, Arsenios, Maximos, Georgije Branković, Barnabas, Germanos, Pavlos and Ireneos.
I wish you many summers, Holy Bishop”./ibna