Nikanor Ivanović was born in Drniš, where his family came from Njeguši. He was, probably, taught theology in Zadar. There, before 1857, he was raised to the dignity of archimandrite. Then he stayed in Savina Monastery. In 1857, the Montenegrin prince Danilo II Petrović-Njegoš elected him as the secretary and vice chairman of the Montenegrin Senate, and then as the new Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Highlands. This office has been vacant since 1851, when Petar II Petrović-Njegoš, the last hierarch who combined metropolitan dignity with secular power in Montenegro, died. His successor Danilo II decided to change the existing system of state so that Montenegro could be recognized internationally as an independent country (claims to its territory were reported by the Ottoman Empire, claiming that the metropolitan princes only exercised spiritual authority). The decision was supported by the Russian Empire.
In 1860, Danilo II was assassinated in Kotor (then part of the Austrian Empire) and was buried in the Cetinje Monastery. Metropolitan Nikanor did not appear at his funeral, which resulted in his removal from office by the new Prince Nikola I. The hierarch went to Crimea, Russian Empire and from there to Italy. He died in 1894 in Gorizia, Austria-Hungary.
- Srpski biografski rečnik, tom 4, Matica srpska, Novi Sad, 2009. godine
- Dušan Rašković: Drnjiški Njeguši, zbornik radova Društveno-politička misao Njegoša, Beograd 2006
- Mr. Aleksandar Stamatović: Kratka istorija Mitropolije Crnogorsko-primorske (1219–1999)
Petar II Petrović-Njegoš
| Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Highlands