Archbishop of Belgrade and Metropolitan of Serbia
Metropolitan bishop of Belgrade Mihailo.jpg
Metropolitan Mihailo
Native name
ChurchSerbian Orthodox Church
DioceseMetropolitanate of Belgrade
In office1859–1881
PredecessorPetar Jovanović
Teodosije Mraović
SuccessorMojsije Veresić
Inokentije Pavlović
Personal details
Birth nameMiloje Jovanović
Born19 August 1826
Sokobanja, Principality of Serbia
(modern-day Serbia)
Died17 February 1898(1898-02-17) (aged 71)
Belgrade, Kingdom of Serbia
(modern-day Serbia)
DenominationEastern Orthodoxy
Alma materKiev Theological Academy

Mihailo Jovanović (baptised as Miloje Jovanović; Sokobanja, Serbia, Ottoman Empire with some autonomy, 19 August 1826 – Belgrade, Kingdom of Serbia, 17 February 1898) was the Metropolitan of Belgrade, head of the Serbian Orthodox Church in the Principality of Serbia from 1859 until 1881 and in the Kingdom of Serbia from 1889 until his death in 1898. Metropolitan Mihailo (Jovanović) of Belgrade and the whole of Serbia, was one of the most significant persons in the country in the 19th century,[1] who revitalized important institutions of the Church. His arch pastoral practice bears the influence of the certain directions of Russian theology and philosophy of culture, though it cannot be separated from supporting the Serbian nation. He was the first president of Red Cross of Serbia.[2]

Early life and education

Mihailo was born Miloje Jovanović on 19 August 1826 in Sokobanja. He attended elementary school at his hometown, and studied gymnasium in Zaječar and Negotin. He graduated from the Belgrade Seminary.[3]

At the initiative of Metropolitan Petar Jovanović, he went to Kiev in July 1846 with six friends under the leadership of Sima Milutinović Sarajlija. There, he graduated from the Theological Academy with a master's degree. He was tonsured a monk on 29 May 1853 in the Kiev Pechersk Lavra and was given the name Mihailo. After completing his studies, Mihailo stayed in Russia for almost another year, where he visited Moscow, St. Petersburg and the Optina Monastery near Kozelsk and studied the life of Russian monks.[3]

In June 1854, Mihailo returned to Serbia and became a teacher at the Seminary, where he stayed until 14 October 1854 when he was ordained Bishop of Šabac.[3]

Metropolitan of Belgrade

In July 1859, he succeeded Petar Jovanović as the Metropolitan of Belgrade. Mihailo's time in office was marked with implementation in church management and in the education of priests. On 20 October 1879, the Orthodox Church in Serbia gained autocephaly in agreement with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.[4]

Mihailo was a convinced Russophile and worked for the unification of South Slavs. He maintained close ties with Slavophile circles in the Russian Empire. He was an honorary member of universities in Saint Petersburg and Moscow. Through them, he materially helped the Herzegovina uprising (1875–1877). His decisive opposition to the policy of rapprochement with Austria-Hungary, led by Prince Milan Obrenović after the Congress of Berlin, provoked his removal from the position of Metropolitan in October 1881.[4]


From 1883, he lived in exile in the Principality of Bulgaria and the Russian Empire. He returned to the position of Metropolitan in 1889, just a few months following the abdication of Milan (by then King Milan I).[4]

Return to Serbia


Mihailo remained the Metropolitan of Belgrade until his death in 1898, during the reign of Milan's son King Alexander I.



Metropolitan Mihailo authored publications about church history:

  • Pravoslavna crkva u Kneževini Srbiji (Orthodox Church in the Principality of Serbia, published in 1874)
  • Pravoslavna crkva u Kraljevini Srbiji (Orthodox Church in the Kingdom of Serbia, published in 1895)


  1. ^ Dautović, Vuk F. (2017). "O antiminsu arhiepiskopa beogradskog i mitropolita Srbije Mihaila (Jovanovića)". Matica Srpska journal for fine arts. 45.
  2. ^ "Istorijat Crvenog Krsta | Crveni Krst Beograd". Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  3. ^ a b c Slijepčević 1979, pp. 194–195.
  4. ^ a b c Slijepčević 1979, pp. 194–196.


  • Slijepčević, Đoko (1979). Mihailo, Metropolit von Serbien, in: Biographisches Lexikon zur Geschichte Südosteuropas. Bd. 3. Hgg. Mathias Bernath / Felix von Schroeder. München. pp. 194–196. Retrieved 3 June 2019.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
Eastern Orthodox Church titles
Preceded by
Joanikije Nešković
Serbian Bishop of Šabac
Succeeded by
Gavrilo Popović
Preceded by
Petar Jovanović
Serbian Metropolitan of Belgrade
Succeeded by
Mojsije Veresić
Preceded by
Teodosije Mraović
Serbian Metropolitan of Belgrade
Succeeded by
Inokentije Pavlović