Church of Serbian – 17/6/18
Archimandrite Stefan (Saric) was born on July 29, 1978, in Jajce (Bosnia and Herzegovina), as the fourth of six children of the pious parents, father Radoslav and mother Milojka, born Majstorović; his baptismal name was Dragan.
He finished elementary school in Jajce, and since his tenth year he was a chanter and reader of his parish church. For the reason that he was religiously educated from his parents in love for her Church and the Lord, he decided to enroll St. Peter of Cetinje Theological School in Cetinje, Montenegro, which he finished in 1998. During his schooling he received scholarship of the Church Municipality of Kotor, where he during the summer holidays was a ministrant in the church of St. Luke and a member of the famous Serbian Choral Society “Jedinstvo” (Unity).
The young seminarist Stefan then continued his education at the Theological Institute in Belgrade.
During the bombing of this country in 1999 he performed his military service when he decided to receive a monastic tonsure. He spent some time in the monastery of Ostrog performing obedience to his spiritual father Lazar.
After the death of Father Lazar, he returned to Banja Luka Diocese and, with the blessing of Bishop Jefrem, in 2002, he went to the Liplje Monastery, where he by the end of 2002. became a monk, and on the feast-day of the Annunciation, on April 7, 2003, he was ordained hierodeacon. That same year, with the blessing of late Patriarch Pavle, he was a scholar at the Moscow Theological Academy, successfully graduating it with the highest mark and becoming a candidate of theological sciences. In 2006, he was the only student who defended his thesis in theology with the theme “On the Systematization of the Theological Heritage of Venerable Justin Popovic”. Because of that excellent diploma thesis of his, Metropolitan Nikolai of Dabar-Bosnia will invite him later on to be a teacher at the Theological School in Foča, Republic of Srpska.
Upon the completion of his theological studies in Moscow, Father Stefan returned to the Liplje Monastery and soon was ordained as hieromonks. on August 6, 2006. That same year, with the blessing of the Bishop Jefrem, he became principal of the Liplje Monastery and was enhanced to the degree of a syncellos. Father Stefan remained in that office until he was appointed teacher of theology in Foča, where he taught students of the generation 2010/2011.
With the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch of Serbian Irinej, he was transferred to the monastery of Rajinovac, n. Belgrade, to receive duty of a spiritual father. He quickly organized monastic life with the sisterhood and started with the reconstruction of the monastery church, for which reason he was promoted by Patriarch Irinej to the rank of protosyncellos, on the feast-day of the Nativity of the Virgin mary, on September 21, 2012.
In 2014, His Holiness Irinej promoted Father Stefan to the rank of Archimandrite, and in 2016. the Polish Orthodox Church awarded him with the Order Mary of Magdala Equal-among-the-Apostles
In addition to the spiritual activity in the monastery, Father Stefan is author of books on Father Justin Popovic, and on St. Ambrosius of Optina (“St. Ambrosius of Optina and his teaching on salvation”), as well as several articles (“Bethlehem and Golgotha in the Lessons of the Venerable Ambrosius of Optina”, “Theology” and “Religious Tourism – Examples of Pioneer Efforts of the Lepavina and Tuman Monasteries”), as well as book-reviews (“Serbian Glory and Customs – the Foundations of Our Tradition”).
On August 7, 2017, His Holiness Patriarch Irinej appointed Archimandrite Stefan Šarić as principal of St. Sava’s Church in Belgrade.
He is currently in the third academic yearof his doctoral studies. He speaks fluently Russian.