LAST UPDATE 17:42
Patriarch Irinej of Serbia fell asleep in the Lord after losing battle with COVID-19 on Friday, November 20, 2020, at 7:07 a.m.
President of Serbia Alexander Vucic wrote on Instagram: “It was an honour to know you. People like you never depart. May his memory be eternal!”.
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Patriarch Irinej of Serbia had been hospitalized since November 5 at the Military COVID Hospital “Karaburma”.
The Patriarch of Serbia had shown signs of improvement in the previous days, according to the official announcements of the Patriarchate.
Yesterday’s announcement, however, stated that his health condition deteriorated and the Patriarch has been intubated.
Serbian Patriarch Irinej was born on August 28, 1930. His parents were Zdravko and MilijanaGavrilovic from the village of Vidova near Cacak. He finished elementary school in his native village and high school in Cacak and the Theological School in Prizren, Kosovo and Metohia. Thereupon he graduated from the Faculty of Theology in Belgrade.
After completing his military service, he was appointed professor of the Prizren Theological School, but before accepting the appointment he received monastic tonsure in the monastery of Rakovica, n. Rakovica, by the Serbian Patriarch German, receiving the monastic name Irinej, inOctober 1959.
On the Holy and Great Friday of the same year, he was ordained a hieromonk in the church of Ruzica, Belgrade. As professor at the Prizren Theological School, he spent some years at postgraduate studies in Athens. He was appointed principal of the Monastic School in the Ostrog monastery in 1969, from where he returned to Prizren to the position of Principal of that famous Theological School.
It was in 1974 that he was elected Vicar Bishop of the Serbian Patriarch with the title of Bishop of Moravica. He was elected Bishop of Nis in 1975.
Enthronement of Serbian Patriarch Irinej
He was elected the 45th Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church on January 22, 2010, after the falling asleep in the Lord of previous Serbian Patriarch Pavle.
The act of enthronement of His Holiness Irinej, Archbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade-Karlovci and Serbian Patriarch, was performed during the Holy Hierarchical Liturgy in Belgrade’s Cathedral church of Archangel Michael.
The solemn Liturgy was officiated by the elected Serbian Patriarch Irinej with the concelebration of his brothers Bishops, priests and deacons, as well as representatives of the Russian and Greek Churches.
Patriarch Irinej was formally enthroned to the ancient throne of the Serbian Patriarchs in the Patriarchate of Pec monastery on 3 October 2010, with participation of the representatives of all sister Orthodox Churches.