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Pope Clement I
Saint Clement I, the bishop of Rome also called Clement of Rome and Clemens Romanus, was either the third or fourth pope, before or after Anacletus. He is also considered one of the Apostolic Fathers.
There is no ground for identifying him with the Clement mentioned in Philippians 4:3. He may have been a freedman of T. Flavius Clemens , who was consul with his cousin, the Emperor Domitian. The Shepherd of Hermas (Vision II. 4. 3) mentions a Clement whose office it is to communicate with other churches; this function has been adduced to support Clement's authorship of the letter to the church at Corinth, Greece, ascribed to him: full details are at the entry 1 Clement.
Liber Pontificalis believes that Clement of Rome had personally known Saint Peter, and states that he wrote two letters (the second letter, 2 Clement is no longer ascribed to Clement) and that he died in Greece in the third year of Trajan's reign, or 100. A 9th century tradition says he was martyred in the Crimea in 102, tied to a ship's anchor and thrown overboard to drown, but earlier sources say he died a natural death. The Vatican's "Annuario Pontificio" (2003) cites a reign from 92 to 99. He is commemorated on November 23.
In art, Saint Clement can be recognized as a pope with an anchor and fish. Sometimes there is an addition of a millstone; keys; a fountain that sprung forth at his prayers; or with a book. He might be shown lying in a temple in the sea.
Clement is perhaps best known by a letter to the Church in Corinth, often called 1 Clement.
A second epistle, better described as a homily and written in the second century, has been traditionally ascribed to Clement, but recent scholarship discredits his authorship.
Clement is also the hero of an early Christian romance or novel that has survived in at least two different versions, known as the Clementine literature, where he is identified with Domitian's cousin T. Flavius Clemens.
See also: other popes named Clement.
- Catholic Encyclopedia: Clement I
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