Culture

The Monastery of St. Naum

 

Svetinaum

Picturesque Environment with Devine Patina

Saint Naum of Ohrid died on 23rd of December 910. He was one of the most renowned followers of the work of the brothers St. Cyril and Methodius. Together with the other follower- St. Clement of Ohrid he initiated and realized the idea of founding the first university (according to some- the first university in the world) in Macedonia.

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The university was organized by setting up working groups that were observed by the selected monk, since all the studies were held within the monasteries, but the practice was always in the nature. Different subjects were established and they were always with a very practical purpose. Since Clement and Naum believed knowledge should be in benefit of people, they taught their disciples how to respect the older and the family, how to eat healthy, how to keep the soil fertile, how to graft the fruits etc. But they also focused on literacy- in Western academies this university is called Ohrid Literary School. According to some sources unlike Clement that was a tolerant teacher, Naum was very tough with his students (at that time only male students were accepted).

St. Naum Monastery by Ohrid municipality

If parents have brought to him their son and the son was not enough dedicated to his education, he would be placed in a cell or even in a special fetter where the student will have to stay on his knees for hours. St. Naum was buried by St. Clement inside the monastery. When you place your ear on the stone of his grave you can still hear his heart beating- I can tell you this is truth since I heard it.

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The monastery church of St. Naum impresses with the beauty of its architecture that is perfectly matched with the beautiful nature and the spring of the river Drim along it. The original building was constructed as almost identical with the church of St. Panteleimon in Ohrid. It was destroyed between the 10th and the 13th century and it was rebuilt in the 16th century. In a fragment found in beneath of the church-floor it says that the today’s frescoes were painted by the artist Trpo, son of the artist Constantine from Korce, and were finished at the time of Abbot Stefan- which is approximately the 15th century. According to the legend Naum found his first investment for the monastery from a reach man whose daughter was “cured” from boldness by him. Due to its miraculous reputation (of its icons and stream) in the monastery was established a fair.

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At first this was held on the date of the patron’s death- 23rd of December, but the archiepiscopal council of Ohrid in 1720 decided this event to be held on 20th of June due to the better climate in this period of the year and due to its timing with Christmas. This event wasn’t stopped even during the time of communism, when just for this date all the believers could arrive here with no passports, which was a wonderful possibility for believers from Albania.

by Igor Pop Trajkov

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