Paul Patriarch of Serbia

The Serbian Patriarch Paul (Stojčević) was born on September 11, 1914 in the village of Kusanci in Slavonia (now Croatia). His secular name was Goiko. He finished the first grades of high school in Tuzla and the six-year seminary in Sarajevo in the years 1930-1936. Shortly before the start of World War II, he graduated from the Theological School of Belgrade (1936-1941), while at the same time studying at the Medical Institute (two years, interrupting his studies due to the war). At the beginning of the war, in order to survive, the future Patriarch of Serbia worked as a builder on construction sites in Belgrade.
In 1948 he became a monk and took the name Paul. In the years 1949-1955 it belonged to the brotherhood of the Ratsa monastery on the Drina river. From the monastery of Ratsa, Paul was sent to study in Athens, where he stayed from 1955 to 1957.
In 1957, the Synod of High Priests of the Serbian Orthodox Church elected him bishop of Raska and Prizren, to minister in Kosovo and Metohija.
In 1988 the Theological School of Belgrade awarded Bishop Paul the title of honorary Doctor of Theology and a little later the same title was awarded to him by the Theological Academy of St. Vladimir in New York.
On December 1, 1990, Bishop Paul was elected by the Holy Synod as the 44th Primate of the Serbian Orthodox Church. His patriarchy was characterized by his special personal ethos, his deep asceticism and his friendly attitude, for which the Serbian people loved him as a genuine spiritual father.
He fell asleep peacefully in the Lord in November 2009, after a two-year illness.

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