There are a few Macedonian Orthodox saints that you may have heard about. These are Saint Nicholas, Clement of Ohrid, and Saint Kiril and Metodij. They are all important saints who have helped us to understand more about Christianity.
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St. Clement of Ohrid
Saint Clement of Ohrid is the patron saint of the Macedonian Orthodox Church. He is also known for his role in the creation of the Cyrillic script. His name is associated with a number of Macedonian institutions, including the Ohrid Literary School. In addition, he is credited with the development of a Slavic orthodox faith.
Saint Clement of Ohrid was born in the Kutmichevitsa region of modern-day North Macedonia in 840 A.D. At the time of his death in 916, he was the most prominent disciple of St. Cyril and Methodius, the famous missionaries of the ninth century.
He was one of the seven Apostles of the First Bulgarian Empire. Boris I commissioned him to teach the Old Church Slavonic language in Kutmichevitza. After Cyril’s death, he went with Methodius on various journeys.
Saint Nicholas is a popular Orthodox saint. He is most famous for his ability to make a miracle happen. His popularity spread across much of Europe during the Middle Ages.
The legend of Saint Nicholas is rooted in the 4th century. He was born into a wealthy Christian family in Asia Minor, present day Turkey. However, his parents died of an epidemic when he was still young. In order to help his family, he decided to help the poor in secret.
During his childhood, he was taught to love the Lord. When his parents died, he inherited the money they had saved. This was used to help the poor and hungry. But he wanted to spend his life in humility, repenting of his sins.
During his lifetime, he performed many miracles. He also helped many sick people. Some of the relics he left behind were used to anoint the sick.
St. Joakim Krcovski
The Macedonian Orthodox Church has canonized Venerable Abbot Joakim Krcovski on May 10, 2022. A Divine Liturgy was held by His Eminence Metropolitan Stefan of Ohrid. He was joined by 11 other hierarchs of the Macedonian Church.
On that day, many events were organized by Macedonian emigrants in Split. Among them, were the celebrations for the jubilee of the 1000th anniversary of Bigorski Monastery “St. John the Baptist”. This celebration was held in accordance with Covid-19 protection measures. During the celebrations, the President of the Republic of Macedonia Stevo Pendarovski attended the event.
Earlier this month, the Holy Synod of the Macedonian Orthodox Church voted to canonize Fr. Joakim Krcovski, one of the greatest religious scholars of the early 19th century. He authored a number of religious works that were inspired by modern Enlightenment values. These books played an important role in religious education and moral education.
St. Kiril and Metodij
Cyril and Methodius are honored as the Apostles of the Slavs in the Orthodox Church. They were born to a respectable Byzantine family. Their religious life was exemplary. They became a pair of missionaries among the Western Slavs in Moravia.
The cult of Cyril and Methodius spread all over the world. Their work contributed to the cultural and spiritual development of the Slavs. Despite their death, the cult of Cyril and Methodius remained strong for many decades. In the decades following their death, Cyril and Methodius were canonized by the Eastern Orthodox Church.
As a result, Cyril and Methodius are also revered as the Patron Saints of the Greek-Catholic Eparchy of Kosice. The University of Skopje is named for them. During their life, the two brothers were missionaries of Christianity.
Traditions of the Christmas Eve supper
There are many Christmas Eve traditions in Macedonia. These celebrations include children caroling, bonfires, and folk gatherings. The Orthodox church also holds a service on Christmas Day.
The traditional dinner on Christmas Eve in Macedonia is a rich meal. Vegetarian dishes are served, along with fruit and nuts. Fish, pies, and bread are also included. Traditionally, there are twelve dishes at the table.
One special dish is kutia, a type of sweet porridge made from wheat and raisins. Children traditionally bring this dish to their grandparents, godparents, or the midwife who delivered them.
A special gift is given to children during the first day of Christmas. Guests are welcomed with a kiss on the cheek and they usually recite best wishes for the family. They then exchange gifts.