Saints in the Roman Canon (Part 14)

In the Roman Canon, after Linus and Cletus, we find Clement.

St. Clement is reckoned among the Apostolic Fathers; he sat in the Chair of Peter

from 88 to about 97 (again, records are sketchy owing to persecutions).  St. Irenaeus writes of him: “In the third place, after the Apostles, the Roman episcopate received Clement, who had seen the Prince of the Apostles, had associated with them, had listened to their sermons and had the Apostolic tradition before his eyes.”

St. Paul, in his Epistle to the Philippians, mentions him among “his co-laborers, whose names are written in the Book of Life.” According to the testimony of ancient writers, St. Clement was endowed with all the qualities of mind and heart that were requisite for the highest ecclesiastical dignities.

The legend relates that the Emperor Trajan banished him to the Taurian Chersoneus (Crimea), where he found two thousand Christians condemned to work in the marble quarries, who suffered greatly for want of water.  Clement prayed, and on an adjacent hill appeared a lamb, from beneath whose right foot a spring of fresh water issued forth. This miracle brought about the conversion of many of the inhabitants. Then Trajan commanded St. Clement to be cast into the sea with an anchor fastened to his neck.  The Christians on the shore fell upon their knees and prayed; and behold! The sea receded three thousand paces, and there appeared, built by the hands of angels, a marble temple in which the body of the saint, together with the anchor, was found.

The mortal remains of the martyr are said to have been brought to Rome by the Greek missionaries, Sts. Cyril and Methodius, during the pontificate of Pope Hadrian II, and placed in the very ancient basilica of St. Clement, near the Coliseum, of which mention is already made by St. Jerome.  His feast is celebrated on the twenty-third of November.

St. Clement, pray for us!

For the Greater Glory of God,

Fr. Matt