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St. Clement of Ohrid
 
About Saint Clement of Ohrid

Had it not been for the missionary work of Sts. Clement and Naum in Ohrid, the enlightening Christian and educational feat of the Holy Brothers would have practically been lost. These students of Sts. Cyril and Methodius laid the foundations of Christianity and Slav literacy in their homeland Macedonia. St. Clement was the first Macedonian of spirit erudition and literacy. His activities were firmly linked with the true and thorough Christianization of the Macedonian Slavs, as well as with the foundation and organization of the First Slav Episcopate in Ohrid and Kutmitchevica. St. Clement continued with the translation of the Holy Scriptures in the language of the Macedonian Slavs and he founded the Ohrid University, which took him a step further than his teachers. He created the new Slav alphabet, called Cyrillic, in honor of his teacher St. Cyril of Thessaloniki.

About 3,500 students sought their education at the University of St. Clement. Many of them were ordained priests, deacons and arch-deacons, and many were sent on missions among the Slav peoples on the Balkan Peninsula, and even further abroad. A large number of them also reached far away Russia.

In 893 AD, St. Clement was enthroned bishop. He was the first Slav bishop in the all-Slav Bishopric of Belica. This Slav bishopric is rightly considered by some Church historians as the first organized Slav Church on the Balkan Peninsula. The Bulgarian Church of the time, that was organized following the Christianization of the Bulgarians in 846 AD, had senior Byzantine clergy.

Thus, St. Clement, student and affiliate of the Slav apostles and teachers Cyril and Methodius, became the first Macedonian Slav bishop, renowned man of letters, teacher, and preacher of the Christian Gospels in the ninth and tenth century. He is the founder of Slav literacy and literature in Macedonia. The model he set out for his life was that of his teacher, the great Methodius, and he took care and prayed not to sway from his ways. He knew Methodus like no one else, for he had been with him from the days of his youth, and was witness to his deeds and achievements. St. Clement was one of those Slav youths that the Holy Bothers prepared as aides in their missions in Moravia and Panonia, and later among the Macedonian Slavs. They were trained to translate the Holy Writ and the Holy Scriptures from Greek into the language of the Macedonian Slavs. One can rightly conclude that St. Clement was a part of the translating activities of the Holy Brothers, as well as an author in his own stead. Not only did he preach, he also wrote down his discourses, so as to assist the inexperienced priests in their sermons. Led by such an aim he wrote sermons, patterns for all holidays round the year.


The Literary Activity of St. Clement of Ohrid

The total number of all St. Clement's epistles and morals has not yet been established. To this day they have not been collected in one Complete Works. We find them in transcripts from the twelfth and thirteenth century, where often St. John Chrisostomos is listed as the author, although the content, language, and style reveal St. Clement as the author. He is also probably the author of the Panonic Hagiography of Sts. Clement and Methodius. He translated the Flower Triode that contains church songs sung from Easter to Pentecost. There is the probability that he is the author of the Holy Service and the Life of St. Clement, the Roman Pope, as well as of the oldest service dedicated to St. Cyril and St. Methodius.

*** Taken from Our Holy Orthodoxy ~ Written by Archibishop Mihail ***
 

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