|Church||Serbian Orthodox Church|
|Province||Military Frontier, Austrian Empire|
|Born||27 December 1757
|Died||22 September 1836
Stefan Stratimirović (Serbian: Стеван Стратимировић, Stevan Stratimirović; 27 December 1757 – 22 September 1836) was Metropolitan of the Serbian Orthodox Church in the Austrian Empire between 1790 and 1836. Having been appointed Metropolitan at the age of 33, Stratimirović maintained control over church life decisively and autonomously. He was an aid to Karađorđe during the First Serbian Uprising and actively participated in the silencing of Tican's Rebellion in 1807.
Early life and appointment
Born in Kulpin as a descendant of a noble family originating from Herzegovina, Stratimirović lived in a private estate awarded to his family by Marie Therese in 1745. He was given a good education; he graduated from grade schools in Kulpin and Begeč, and later he attained the Gymnasium in Novi Sad, from which he also graduated. He afterwords studied philosophy and law in Vienna and Buda, later moving on to theology which he studied privately in Sremski Karlovci under Serbian archimandrite Jovan Rajić, because there were not yet any Serbian theology schools at the time. In 1784 he joined the Serbian Orthodox Church as a monk, and in 1786 he was appointed Bishop of Vršac. Later on he was appointed in the Eparchy of Buda, where he served for four years. On October 29, 1790, Stratimirović was made Metropolitan of Karlovci at the Assembly of Timişoara, at the age of 33.
Metropolitan of Karlovci
As metropolitan, Stratimirović paid special attention to the building of educational institutions. With the help of merchant Dimitrije Anastasijević Szabov he founded the Gymnasium of Karlovci in 1792, in 1794 the Karlovci Theology School, and in 1795 the Blagodejanije fund (later called Stefaneum).
He edited and expanded the Metropolitan library and established higher discipline within the clergy. As a religious leader he inspired independence and supported the First Serbian Uprising, despite leading the clergy remotely from within the Austrian Empire. He led a struggle against Viennese attempts of unifying Serbs with the Austrian Empire. He was a devoted enthusiast of both science and literature.
Under the strong influence of the conflict for preserving orthodoxy, Stratimirović gradually became more and more conservative and in so doing was opposed to the language reformations of Dositej Obradović, Sava Mrkalj, and Vuk Stefanović Karadžić. During the First Serbian Uprising he helped the rebels in secret by assisting in the supply of munitions and gunpowder from Prussia. In 1807 he played an active role in silencing Tican's Rebellion in Srem.
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His heritage included many written works in a variety of languages as well as subjects. Although only two of his major works were ever printed during his lifetime, he wrote many other works in Latin, German and Serbian, among which there are historical, clerical, literary and other texts. After his death in 1836, more of his works were printed in published. Although requested, a biography was never written on his behalf, and only a list of his works and an outline on his life were ever written and published for the general public.
A more or less obscure trait of Stratimirović was that he was, at sometime after (also sometimes speculated during) his academic years in Buda and Vienna, admitted into Freemasonry as a member of the Vigilantia lodge in Osijek. While the details of his membership and activities within the lodge are few, there is clear evidence of his membership in the lodge charter, which also suggested that he was a lodge master at some time during his membership. The Vigilantia lodge was also notable for several other members, who like Stratimirović also played a vital role in the history of Serbia. These include Pavle Marković, Josif Jovanović Šakabenta and Stefan Novaković. Recent attribution to Serb national figures being Masons are purely conjectural, Masonic lodges didn't appear until the 20th century.
- Народна енциклопедија Срба, Хрвата и Словенаца, Ст. Станојевић, Загреб, 1925. – 1929.
|Metropolitan of Karlovci