Friday, October 27, 2006

0 Bulgarian Archbishopric of Ohrid

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Bulgarian Archbishopric of Ohrid

The Coins demonstating Bulgarian character of  Archbishopric of Ohrid

The Bulgarian Archbishopric of Ohrid (other: Ohrid Archbishopric, Archbishopric of First Justiniana and all Bulgaria) was an autonomous Bulgarian Orthodox Church under the tutelage of the Patriarch of Constantinople between 1019 and 1767, seated in Ohrid.

The archbishopric was established in 1019 by lowering of the rank of the autocephalous Bulgarian Patriarchate and its subjugation to the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Although the first appointed archbishop (John of Debar) was a Bulgarian, his successors, as well as the whole higher clergy, were invariably Greeks, the most famous of them being Saint Theophylact of Ohrid (1078-1107). The Greek language quite early replaced Old Bulgarian as the official language of the archbishopric. All documents and even hagiographies of Bulgarian saints, for example the hagiography of Saint Clement of Ohrid, were written in Greek. Despite this, the Slavonic liturgy was preserved on the lower levels of the Church for several centuries.

Shroud, XIII c. 
Ochrid, Macedonia

Presented by the Emperor Andronicos II Palleologus (1282-1328) to the Ochrid Archbishop, inscribed with gold fibers: "Shepherd of the Bulgarians, remember the ruler Andronicos Palleologus, when sacrificing".

The autocephaly of the Ohrid Archbishopric remained respected during the periods of Byzantine, Bulgarian, Serbian and Ottoman rule and the church continued to exist until its abolition in 1767. For more information about the Ohrid Archbishopric and other periods in the history of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, see Bulgarian Orthodox Church.

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