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Gabriel I of Pec

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The holy, glorious and right-victorious Hieromartyr Gavrilo I of Pec (also Gabriel; Serbian: Свети свештеномученик Гаврило српски) was the Serbian patriarch from 1648 to 1655. His feast day is celebrated on December 13.


Gavrilo was born in the Stari Vlah region into a noble family. Little of his early life is known.

He was Metropolitan of Smederevo until 1643. After this, he was elected Metropolitan of Ras and Novi Pazar. He rebuilt the Monastery of the Holy Archangels near the Kovilje Mountains in 1644. After the death of Patriarch Pajsije on November 3/13, 1647, Gavrilo was elected patriarch by the synod at Morača Monastery before the feast of the Ascension in 1648. He paid a large tribute to the Turks, as had other patriarchs: 100,000 akchas (in theese times about 4000 pounds of sterling) . He visited Constantinople in order to gain protection for his flock.

When he visited Stari Vlah, he met the Russian nobleman Ivan Vasiljevič Šujski. Patr. Gavrilo traveled to Russia to ask for material support. He met Metr. Arsenije of Trebinje on Christmas Eve and went first to Valachia in Tergoviste to try to reconcile the Valachian Prince Matthew Besarab with the Cossack Hetman Bogdan Hmeljnicki. Patr. Gavrilo traveled again to Russia in 1654 and brought with him two books for printing: Lives of Serbian Emperors and Patriarchs and Typikon against Latin Heresy of Saint Nil Kabasilas. He was welcomed by Patr. Nikon and Tsar Michael Romanov. He also participated in the famous Moscow Synod in 1658 in which Nikon's reforms were approved. He wrote to Serbia for the metropolitans to elect a new patriarch.

He returned to Serbia in 1659. On his return, he was accused by the Turkish government of being responsible for the Russo-Turkish War. Certain Jews also accused him of having converted several Jews to the Christian Faith. In their accusation, the Jews cited that he was attempting to convert the Turks. The Jews did this to enrage the Turkish authorities even more. Brought before the tribunal, he was condemned sentenced and sentenced to embrace Islam. After Patr. Gabriel refused, he was sentenced to death. He died in Bursa on July 18, 1659. Presbyter Pavle took his remains and buried them. He was entered on the list of Serbian saints.

Preceded by:
Metropolitan of Smederevo
Succeeded by:
Preceded by:
Metropolitan of Ras and Novi Pazar
Succeeded by:
Preceded by:
Patriarch of Serbia
Succeeded by:

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