Pope and Martyr (d. ca 91)
+ St. Irenaeus of Lyons relates that Clement was lived in Rome and was of Jewish ancestry. He had been converted to Christ by the preaching of Stss Peter and Paul.
+ According to tradition, he had been ordained a priest by St. Peter and he succeeded St. Cletus as bishop of Rome around the year 91.
+ Pope Clement I is especially remember for his letter to the Christians in Corinth, which contains the earliest surviving record of an intervention by the church in Rome in the affairs of another local church.
+ Around the year 99, Clement was arrested and exiled to the Crimea, where he was forced to work in the mines until he was eventually martyred by being thrown into the sea with an anchor tied around his neck. His relics were reported to have been recovered by Sts. Cyril and Methodius who brought them back to Rome in the ninth century.
+ St. Clement is among the early martyrs whose name is included in the Roman Canon (the First Eucharistic Prayer).
For prayer and reflection
“This is the path, beloved, by which we find our salvation, Jesus Christ, the high priest of our sacrifices, the defender and ally in our helplessness. It is through him that we gaze on the highest heaven, through him we can see the reflection of God’s pure and sublime countenance, through him the eyes of our hearts have been opened, through him our foolish and darkened understanding opens toward the light, and through him the Lord has willed that we should taste everlasting knowledge. He reflects God’s majesty and is as much superior to angels as the name he has obtained is more excellent than theirs.”—St. Clement of Rome’s First Letter to the Corinthians
On November 23, the Church also celebrates the memory of the Irish missionary and abbot St. Columban (d. 615) and the Mexican Jesuit priest and martyr Blessed Miguel Pro (d. 1927).
Almighty ever-living God,
who are wonderful in the virtue of all your Saints,
grant us joy in the yearly commemoration of St. Clement, who, as a Martyr and High Priest of your Son,
bore out by his witness what he celebrated in mystery
and confirmed by example what he preached with his lips.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.