Macarius (Sokolović) of Peć

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Our father among the saints Makarije (Sokolović) of Pec (also Macarius; Свети Макарије Патријарх Српски) was the Serbian Patriarch from 1557 to 1570/71. His feast is August 30,/September 12, together with Patriarchs St. Kirilo and St. Nikon.


He was born in village Sokolovići near Višegrad. The Grand Vezir of Ottoman Empire, Mehmed-Paša Sokolović, was either his brother or first cоusin. The two of them, as a boys, were sent to Mileševa Monastery, to prepare for the priesthood. Bajo, later Mehmed-Pasha was gathered as part of the devshirmeh (tribute-in-blood). Makarije stayed in monastery. He later left Mileševa and traveled to Mount Athos where he later was named igumen of Hilandar Monastery. He was raised to the rank of archimandrite. He was consecrated bishop few years before the reestablishment of the Serbian Patriarchate.

There is a question whether was he the first Patriarch after the reestablishment of the patriarchate. In Pećko Skazanije, it is written that before him Patriarch Nikanor (1550-1557) was the first patriarch. Other sources state that Sultan Suleiyman, the Magnificent, approved reestablishment of the Peć Patriarchate.

Makarije's official title was: Archbishop of Peć and Patriarch of Serbs and Bulgarians. The inclusion of the Bulgarians was due to the fact that some dioceses in Bulgaria were part of the Peć Patriarchate. This was done, certainly, with help of Mehmed. Patr. Makarije reorganized Serbian Church, established new dioceses, and rebuilt many monasteries. The Turkish Government, which was led by his brother, recognised him as etharch, mylet-pasha, leader of Serbian Nation.

Church courts had almost full jurisdictional power on Christians, similar to that of the Ecumenical Patrirchate. During his tenure ten new dioceses were created and several importnant monasteries were rebuilt. Most important among them was Banja Monastery. Makarije opened many schools in monasteries. When he grew old he selected his nephew, Metropolitan Antonije of Herzegovina, as his successor in 1570/1. The Holy Synod on its session in Banja Monastery approved this decision.

St. Makarije died in September 1574. Soon after death he was glorified. The Very Right Reverend Professor Radoslav Grujić said that St. Makarije was most importnant among primates of Church of Serbia after Saint Sava.

Succession box:
Macarius (Sokolović) of Peć
Preceded by:
Patriarch of Serbia
Succeeded by:
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