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Life and death comes to us from the attitude towards our neighbour (fellow man), said the great Abba Anthony of the desert. A wise man will understand what the Abba means because he will remember the command of God; that we should love our neighbours as ourselves. Love means mercy and sacrifice for our neighbour. To give our fellow man a hand when he suffers in great difficulty, to feed him when he is hungry, to give him water when he is thirsty, when he is sick or in prison to visit him, to pray constantly for him … And if we are chosen by God as a prudent pastors, there is one more step we need to take, to lay down our souls for our children (flock), like the Good Shepherd (pastor) of the Gospel.

Thus, through love and mercy towards our neighbour we choose eternal life or through hatred towards him we choose eternal death.

If we choose life we should will ourselves to be compassionate (merciful) towards everyone and everything. To be as merciful as the one who carried that name, like Saint Panteleimon. The man who treated and healed his fellow men without compensation and without earthly rewards because of the gift and love he had from, and towards, God. He was giving away (healing) for free that which was given to him (for free) by the Gift-Giver (God). And he who could not be killed by the sword of the persecutors until he had finished with “Amen” his prayer to God for the salvation of his soul, for the salvation and healing of the souls and bodies of his fellow men, but also for the repentance of those under whose sword he laid his soul in the arms of our All-Merciful God.

And he, because of this, through his fellow men received eternal life.

And his blood was shed as the seed for the birth of new Christians everywhere and throughout the all ages.

5And his temple sprung up (grew up, germinated) right here (Plaushnik-Ohrid) under the diligent and holy hand of the merciful Episcope and Pastor, Clement, our miracle-worker. The temple for the congregation of the faithful people in a common prayer, where all become one in the Body and Blood of Christ. But also a place where, in addition to faith, the alphabet letters will be learned, the words through which the Word will be spoken. The place where St. Clement was laying down his soul (sacrificing himself) for his flock. The place where he dug his own grave with his own hands in order to give sanctity to this place forever, which proudly rises above Ohrid and the lake. The place that would be a light on top of a mountain.1 The place where the earthly life of Clement the Great came to an end, but he did not complete his mission. Because his mission will last through all the ages until the arrival at the Kingdom of Heaven of all of us, who through him make supplications for the forgiveness of our sins, healing of our souls and bodies and salvation by God the Holy Trinity. And the mission will last until his last child arrives before the throne of God, so that Saint Clement can say before Christ: “Here am I and the children whom God has given me.”

Yes, that is his mission through the centuries that have past and will be for the centuries to come.

And if you ask me; “What is our mission?”. I would say nothing different from that of St. Clement.

But I do know that the time in which we live frightens us and causes us to waver in our ability to follow his struggle. But isn’t that a lack of faith?

Do we think that God’s care for us has diminished? Do we doubt the prayerful intercession of St. Clement and St. Panteleimon? Have our fellow men through whom we can die or be saved disappeared?

No, everything is given to us, the only question is how much do we use what is given to us?

Unfortunately, even today in the 21st century we are given the poor, in order to feed them, and they to pray for us. We are given the rich, to pray for them when they helped us. We are also given the apostates of the faith and God in order through our teaching and prayer for them, they might be converted and saved. We are also given our health, to look after it, and by protecting our health from this evil epidemic of the 21st century to protect the health of our fellow men. We have been given the prayerful intercession of St. Clement, we have also been given the grace of God in order to implement all of this into our lives.

If we do all of this, and if we do not doubt even a bit that we can implement (complete) this struggle (deed) in our lives regardless of the time and place in which we live, I assure you that we will be given a place in the Kingdom of Heaven on the right side of the Throne of our God, the Holy Trinity, and side by side with the one who will represent us as his children before God, that is, St. Clement.

For many years and for many shared joys, may this day be celebrated my dear ones!

Saint Clement intercede to Christ our God for us!

Amen, So be it!


Metropolitan of Europe Pimen

9th of August 2020

Ohrid, Republic of Macedonia ·

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