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Celebrating the Great Patron – St. Clement of Ohrid

St. Clement of Ohrid is the most acclaimed saint of the Macedonian people and the patron of the Macedonian Orthodox Church. His deeds go well beyond religious work. He is not only the first bishop, but also the first original author and educator, and the founder of the Ohrid Literary School. So since 2007, the Day of St. Kliment Ohirdski, December 8, is celebrated as a national holiday in Macedonia.

Clement of Ohrid (835-916), and Naum of Ohrid are the most renowned and loyal disciples of Ss. Cyril and Methodius, the inventors of the Slavic alphabet. The works of St. Clement played a significant role in the development of Macedonian culture and literacy. Especially important was the Ohrid Literary School that had about 3 500 students. St. Clement used the Glagolitic script that was later replaced by the Cyrillic version. According to his hagiography by Theophylact of Ohrid, Clement was born in the region then known as Kutmicevica, which is believed to have been close to the lake. Clement participated in the mission of Cyril and Methodius to Great Moravia. After the death of Cyril, Clement accompanied Methodius on his journey from Rome to Pannonia and Great Moravia. After the death of Methodius himself in 885, Clement headed the struggle against the German clergy in Great Moravia along with Gorazd. After spending some time in jail, he was expelled from Great Moravia and in 885 or 886 reached the borders of Bulgaria together with the other disciples, Naum of Preslav, Angelarius and possibly Gorazd. There they were commissioned by Boris I to instruct the clergy of the state in the Slavic language. Clement was commissioned by Boris I to organize the teaching of theology to future clergymen in Kutmicevica. In 893 he was ordained Archbishop of Dremvica (Velika), also in Kutmicevica. Read more …