Ohrid Archbishopric

After the Ottoman invasion of the Balkans, the Patriarchate of Tarnovo ceased to exist, and its diocese passed to that of the local Orthodox Church in Constantinople. The last patriarch of Turnov, St. Euthymius, was captured and exiled, probably in the Bachkovo monastery.

The Ohrid Archbishopric retained its autocephaly in the first centuries of Ottoman rule. The archbishop's chair was created with the sigil of Emperor Basil II from 1019, and the subsequent several acts of Basileus from 1020-1025 also defined its territorial boundaries, overlapping those of the Bulgarian Patriarchate, which had moved to the west after the campaign of John I Tzimishi. In the years of Ottoman rule, the local bishops continued to take care of the spiritual needs of their congregation. Soon after the Ottoman conquest of the area, the Ohrid Archdiocese expanded its diocese, especially after the installation of the former Ecumenical Patriarch Mark II Xylokarav as Ohrid bishop.

In the first half of the XNUMXth century, Metropolitan Pavel of Smederevo rejected the authority of the Archbishop of Ohrid and proclaimed the Pečka Patriarchate independent, detaching several dioceses from the Ohrid diocese.

In the second half of the 1766th century, the Ecumenical Patriarchate managed to fully include in its diocese the dioceses under the jurisdiction of the bishops of Pečka and Ohrid. In 1767, the Pečka Patriarchate was destroyed, and in XNUMX, a sultan's decree was issued, with which the Ohrid Archbishopric was also destroyed.

The bishop's miter worn by the archbishops of Ohrid is one of the testimonies of the importance of Ohrid as a fortress of Orthodoxy during the years of Ottoman rule. The episcopal miter, which symbolizes the crown of thorns placed on the head of Jesus Christ on His way to Calvary, is one of the insignia of the ecclesiastical authority of the Ohrid bishop.

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