Vicentius (Prodanov) of Serbia
His Holiness Vicentius (Prodanov), (in Serbian: Викентије (Проданов) - Vikentije (Prodanov)), was Archbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade and Karlovac and Patriarch of Serbia 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 the village of Backo Petrovo Selo in then the Austria-Hungary Empire. In 1901, he completed his primary education in Backo Petrovo Selo. Bitomir and then entered the Grand Serbian Orthodox Gymnasium in Novi Sad from which he graduated in 1909. He continued his higher education in the Serbian Orthodox Theology School in Sremski Karlovci, graduating in 1913. He then returned for a several months to Backo Petrovo Selo as a teacher. On June 1, 1917, Bishop Georgije (Letić) of Temišvar appointed him consistorial subnotary for the Diocese of Temišvar .
On August 18, 1917, Bitomir took monastic vows in Bezdin Monastery before Archimandrite Issac (Došen) and was given the name Vicentius. He was ordained a deacon on September 12 by Bp. Georgije. In 1919, Dn. Vicentius 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. During this time he continued his education at the Philosophical Faculty in Belgrade studying National and Byzantine History. He graduated in 1929. On October 31, 1929, Dn. Vicentius was ordained a hieromonk and, then on December 3, he was raised to the rank of archimandrite.
In 1932, Archim. Vicentius was elected Secretary General of the Sentence Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church. He remained in this position for only a short time before he was elected vicar bishop of Marča, on July 4, 1932. 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. Vicentius 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. From 1947 to 1950, Bp. Vicentius was administrator of Diocese of Žiča, during the absence of St. Nikolai and the Diocese of Srem.
Bp. Vicentius 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. Vicentius was strongly opposed to the splitting of the Serbian church and the creation of a Macedonian Church. He was a historian and a member of the Society of Historians of Vojvodina. He also was editor-in-chief of its gazette.
Patr. Vicentius 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