St. Clement of Ohrid Day is celebrated on December 8 of every year. It is a special day in North Macedonia as the Macedonians remember and celebrate St. Clement of Ohrid, who was the best student of St. Cyril and St. Methodius. Did you know that St. Clement of Ohrid was the founder of the first Slavic university in Ohrid? He was the founder of Slavic literacy and Slavic culture in Macedonia. He is also one of the first Bulgarian saints. So, who exactly is St. Clement of Ohrid?
History of St. Clement of Ohrid
St. Clement of Ohrid was a ninth-century missionary. The early life of St. Clement is largely unknown and according to his hagiography by Theophylact of Ohrid, Clement was born in the southwestern part of the Bulgarian Empire. He was born in what is modern-day North Macedonia in 840 A.D. Known as the enlightener of the Slava, Clement was one of the most prominent disciples of St. Cyril and St. Methodius, two important missionaries who spread Christianity among the Slavic people of Bulgaria, Great Moravia, and Pannonia.
During those times, Bulgarian King Boris I was worried about the growing Byzantine influence and decided to promote the old Slavonic as the language of his empire. So, he established two Slavonic schools, one of them led by Clement, and located at Ohrid, which taught the Bulgarian version of Old Slavonic. This made Ohrid an important cultural center for the Bulgarian Empire. Later, in 893 A.D., Clement became the first Slav bishop of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.
Clement brought a Slavonic influence into the teachings and passed away in 916 A.D. He was buried at the monastery of St. Panteleimon in Ohrid, which he had established. Underlining his importance and influence in North Macedonia, St. Clement is the patron saint of the country, the city of Ohrid, and the Macedonian Orthodox Church. St. Clement of Ohrid has been a public holiday since 2007. However, only North Macedonia celebrates St. Clement of Ohrid Day as a national holiday.
St. Clement of Ohrid timeline
Clement is born in modern-day North Macedonia.
Clement becomes the first Slav Bishop of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.
Clement dies at a ripe old age at that time.
St. Clement of Ohrid Day is made a public holiday.
St. Clement of Ohrid FAQs
What is St. Clement known for?
Clement was the first of early Rome’s most notable bishops. He was known for his epistle to the church in Corinth, in which he asserted the apostolic authority of the bishops as rulers of the church.
What did Clement give to Christianity?
Clement presented a functional program of witnessing in thought and action to Hellenistic inquirers and Christian believers, a program that he hoped would bring about an understanding of the role of Greek philosophy.
What was North Macedonia called before?
The country became a member of the United Nations in April 1993, but as a result of a dispute with Greece over the name “Macedonia,” it was admitted under the provisional description “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.”
How to Observe St. Clement of Ohrid
Spreading knowledge about St. Clement and his influence on the Slavic Christians' destiny is the best thing you can do to honor St. Clement of Ohrid. You can spend time introducing St. Clement to your loved ones and friends.
Enjoy the ceremony
Participating in the festivities and rituals that take place on St. Clement of Ohrid Day is one of the most meaningful ways you can honor this holiday. Even the St. Clement prize given in Macedonian history is open to the public.
Share your story
If you've been to the lovely country of North Macedonia, you can spread the word about it to the rest of the globe by sharing some of your fascinating travel tales on social media.
5 Mind-Blowing Facts About St. Clement Of Ohrid
St. Clement and Cyrillic scripts
He is associated with the creation of the Glagolitic and Cyrillic scripts.
He knew Methodius well
According to many, Clement knew the life of Methodius like no other.
He was an important writer
St. Clement of Ohrid was one of the most prolific writers in Old Church Slavonic.
There’s a university named after him
The first modern Bulgarian University, Sofia University, was named after Clement.
He is well-known in Russia too
Many of the lessons and sermons of St. Clement were brought to Russia.
Why St. Clement of Ohrid is Important
It’s all about history
St. Clement of Ohrid Day is a public holiday in North Macedonia that celebrates independence. This independence is a result of the effort and struggle of thousands of people.
It’s a day to celebrate
Although most of the shops and offices may be closed during the St. Clement of Ohrid Day, the day is marked by ceremonies and celebrations. This gives you a reason to celebrate and enjoy the day!
It’s a day to remember
St. Clement of Ohrid Day honors and celebrates not just St. Clement but also those who contributed to the growth of Christianity. Therefore, it would be unfair to disregard the day.
St. Clement of Ohrid dates