Vicentius (Prodanov) of Serbia
His Holiness Vikentije (Prodanov), (also Vicentius, in Serbian: Викентије (Проданов), Archbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade and Karlovac and Patriarch of Serbia, was Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church from 1950 to 1958.
Bitomir Prodanov was born into the family George (Ђорђе) and Jelka (Јелка) Prodanov, on August 24, 1890, in Backo Petrovo Selo. He completed his primary education in Backo Petrovo Selo in 1901. Bitomir then attended the Grand Serbian Orthodox Gymnasium in Novi Sad graduating in 1909. He continued his education in the Serbian Orthodox Theology School in Sremski Karlovci, graduating in 1913. He then returned to Backo Petrovo Selo as a teacher for a several months. On June 1, 1917, Bishop Georgije (Letić) of Temišvar appointed him consistorial subnotary for the Diocese of Temišvar .
On August 18, 1917, he took monastic vows in Bezdin Monastery before Archimandrite Isak (Došen) and was given the name Vikentije. He was ordained a deacon on September 12 by Bp. Georgije. In 1919, Dn. Vikentije was transferred to the post of consistorial notary of the Diocese of Bačka. He was raised to the dignity of protodeacon and then archdeacon. From 1921 to 1932 he served as secretary of the executive board of monasteries in Karlovci Metropolitanate. He continued his education at the Philosophical Faculty in Belgrade studying National and Byzantine History. He graduated in 1929. On October 31, 1929, Dn. Vikentije was ordained a hieromonk. Then on December 3, he was raised to the rank of archimandrite.
In 1932, Archim. Vikentije was elected Secretary General of the Sentence Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church. He remained in this position a short time until he was elected vicar bishop of Marča, on July 4. He was consecrated by Patriarch Varnava, assisted by Bps. Irinej of Bačka, Serafim of Raška and Prizren, Sava of Srem, and Platon of Moravice.
Bp. Vikentije remained a vicar until 1939 when he was elected Bishop of Zletovo and Strumica. In 1940, he was also assigned as administrator of the Diocese of Ohrid and Bitola. After the Germans and Bulgarians occupied the diocese in 1941, he was exiled from Zletovo by Bulgarian fascists. After World War II, the Communist regime did not allow him to return from exile as the Communists wanted to create a Macedonian Orthodox Church separate from the Church of Serbia. During this oeriod he was administrator of Diocese of Žiča from 1947 to 1950, during the absence of St. Nikolai, as well as of the Diocese of Srem.
Bp. Vikentije was elected Patriarch of Serbia on July 14, 1950. He visited several other local churches in order to strengthen ties that had been weakened during the war. He placed enormous energy into trying to resolve the problem of Pension Security funds for priests of the patriarchate. Patr. Vikentije was strongly opposed to the foundation of the so called Macedonian Church. He was an eminent historian and a member of the Society of Historians of Vojvodina as well as editor-in-chief of its gazette.
Patr. Vikentije died on July 5, 1958 under mysterious circumstances after a session of the holy assembly of bishops at which the assembly rejected suggestions from the communist regime to approve the establishment of a Macedonian church. He was buried in the tomb of Metr. Mihajlo in the Cathedral Church of the Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel in Belgrade.
Vicentius (Prodanov) of Serbia
|Bishop of Marča - Vicar
|Bishop of Zletovo and Strumica
|Patriarch of Serbia