Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Sts. Clement and Naum of Ohrid

Joyous feast! Today we celebrate Saints Clement and Naum of Ohrid, disciples of the Holy Equals-to-the-Apostles Cyril and Methodius who labored in western Macedonia in what today is the southwestern corner of independent Macedonia. The Saints initially labored in Moravia together with their fellow disciples of the Enlighteners of the Slavs, Sts. Gorazd, Sabbas, and Angelyar. When the competing German missionaries present in Moravia began banning the use of Slavonic in the Mass and other divine services and persecuting the Saints, however, they were scattered.

Several took refuge in the newly enlightened Bulgarian Empire, where they began the work of translating the divine services of the Byzantine Rite into Slavonic. St. Clement eventually settled in the western Macedonian city of Ohrid, where he organized his disciples and students into a renowned school. After his election as Bishop of Velitsa, possibly making him the first ethnic Slav to serve as a hierarch in the Church of Christ, St. Clement was succeeded at the school in Ohrid by St. Naum, who had until then taught in the school he had founded in Preslav.

After several years teaching in Ohrid St. Naum founded the Monastery of Sts. Michael and Gabriel near the city and retired there following its consecration by St. Clement in 905. St. Naum reposed in 910 and was buried in his monastery, which was later rededicated to his holy memory. In the early 900s St. Clement also established a monastery near Ohrid, that of St. Panteleimon, and continued his translation work, also becoming the first author of original works in the Slavonic language. After his falling asleep in 916 St. Clement's relics were likewise buried in the monastery he had founded.

More on Sts. Clement and Naum's lives can be found here and here. May their blessings and prayers be with us all!

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