Macarius (Sokolović) of Peć

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Our father among the saints Macarius or Makarije (Sokolović) of Peć (also Macarius; Serbian: 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 of Sokolovići near Višegrad. The grand vizier of the Ottoman Empire, Mehmed-Paša Sokolović, was either his brother or first cоusin. The two of them, as 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 the monastery. He later left Mileševa and traveled to Mount Athos, where he was named igumen of Hilandar Monastery. He was raised to the rank of archimandrite. He was consecrated bishop a few years before the re-establishment of the Serbian Patriarchate.

There is some question as to whether he was the first patriarch after the re-establishment 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 re-establishment 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 the help of Mehmed. Patr. Makarije reorganized the Serbian church, established new dioceses, and rebuilt many monasteries. The Turkish government, which was led by his brother, recognised him as etharch, mylet-pasha, and leader of the Serbian nation.

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

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

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