Cave Church Saint Erasmus

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St. Erasmus Sign

St. Erasmus Sign

TThe cult of Saint Erasmus, the Antiochian bishop and preacher, on the Macedonian territory is celebrated since the time of St. Clement and his school. It is believed that he was the first preacher of Christianity in Ohrid where he christened thousands on the White Lake.

The date of his birth is not known. As a young man he became bishop of Antioch. Diocletian referred to him as young and beautiful, but he tormented him because of his faith in Christ. The Macedonian Slavic tradition ascribes him certain missionary activities for a period of nearly ten years (293-303), naming him the first and true missionary in Ohrid.

We learn about his life from two hagiographies dating from the 9th and 11th century and describing his coming to Lihnidos at the end of the 3rd century, carried on the wings of the angel who rescued him from Diocletian’s (284-305) tortures in Antioch. The angel led him out of the terrible darkness and took him to the City of Light, where he immediately started preaching the Gospel of Christ and performing numerous miracles: he restored sight to the blind, and healed those suffering from various illnesses.

St. Erasmus Entrance Gate

St. Erasmus Entrance Gate

We find proof that he existed, preached Christianity, performed miracles and was a martyr in his hagiographies. His cult has been well-kept in Ohrid since the time it was called the City of Light (Lihnidos). That is why he will forever remain known as St. Erasmus of Lihnidos.

Andronikus II - Paleologus and St. Archangel Michael

Andronikus II – Paleologus and St. Archangel Michael

Ohrid devoted a beautiful monastery, built in a cave along the road Ohrid-Struga, near the very shore of the lake to his early Christian preacher. The frescoes, including the character of St. Erasmus, originated from the 12th century. An early-Christian basilica from the 3rd-4th century, dedicated to St. Erasmus was discovered in the vicinity.”

St. Erasmus Cave Church Interior

St. Erasmus Cave Church Interior

St. Erasmus Video Documentary

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