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Saint Clement I, Pope & Martyr
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo
Pope Saint Clement Adoring the Trinity
1737-38 -- Oil on Canvas
Alte Pinakothek, Munich
Pope Clement I also known as Clement of Rome, is the first of the successors of St. Peter of whom anything definite is known, and he is the first of the "Apostolic Fathers". His feast is celebrated November 23. He has left one genuine writing, a letter to the Church of Corinth, and many others have been attributed to him.
According to Tertullian, writing c. 199, the Roman Church claimed that Clement was ordained by St. Peter (De Praescript., xxxii), and St. Jerome tells us that in his time "most of the Latins" held that Clement was the immediate successor of the Apostle (De viris illustr., xv). St. Jerome himself in several other places follows this opinion, but here he correctly states that Clement was the fourth pope.
(Principal source - Catholic Encyclopedia - 1913 edition )
Almighty ever-living God,
who are wonderful in the virtue of all your Saints,
grant us joy in the yearly commemoration of Saint 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,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.
First Reading: 1 Peter 5:1-4
So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ as well as a partaker in the glory that is to be revealed. Tend the flock of God that is your charge, not by constraint but willingly, not for shameful gain but eagerly, not as domineering over those in your charge but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd is manifested you will obtain the unfading crown of glory.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 16:13-19
Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, "Who do men say that the Son of man is?" And they said, "Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
Related link on Vatican Website: Benedict XVI, General Audience, Paul VI Audience Hall, Wednesday, March 7, 2007, St Clement, Bishop of Rome
Related links on New Advent Website: Saint Clement of Rome writings:
- First Epistle
- Second Epistle
- Two Epistles Concerning Virginity
- Clementine Homilies
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