Feast Day: November 23
St. Clement was the third successor of St. Peter, and probably a contemporary of both Ss. Peter and Paul in Rome.
St. Clement is mentioned in the ancient First Eucharistic Prayer (also called the Roman Canon), and may be the Clement who is mentioned by St. Paul as a co-worker in his letter to the Philippians (4:3). A church near the Roman Coliseum named in Clement’s honor consists in four separate layers, the first dating to the first century A.D.
As bishop of Rome, Clement wrote several letters. He proclaimed the tradition, which he had recently received from the Apostles Peter and Paul. Pope St. Clement I urged unity in Christ and tried to reestablish peace and renew faith. His authoritative letter made his name famous. Roman emperor Trajan exiled him to Crimea where Clement worked as a slave among rock quarries. Although the closest water source for the slaves was thought to be about six miles away, Clement was inspired to discover one much closer where they could drink.
Clement preached the Word of the Lord so effectively among the slaves working the rock quarries, that within a short time 75 Christian communities were developed in the vicinity. He was then cast into the sea with an anchor tied around his neck. His image is portrayed with a large anchor next to him. He is dressed in the garments of a bishop (red for martyrdom), wearing a mitre (pointed hat) and holding crozier (shepherd’s staff).
It is said that angels prepared a sepulcher for him under the ocean waves, and perhaps that is why several places near the waters of Southern California are named after him: the Channel Island of San Clemente, the seaside town in Orange County, and our own parish on the Santa Monica-Venice border.
Prayer of St. Clement
(From his Letter to the Corinthians written from Rome in the First Century)
Lord, creator of the universe, faithful and just, kind and compassionate Father
You are wonderful in power and majesty, and we praise you through our High Priest Jesus Christ.
To you we make our constant prayer, and entreat you to help us. Aid the afflicted; pity the lowly; raise the fallen; show yourself to the needy; heal the sick; convert the wayward; feed the hungry; deliver the imprisoned; support the weak; and encourage the fainthearted.
Do not allow any of your faithful people to fall away, but preserve them in faith, favor them with hope, and fill them with your love.
Save the desperate, help those in danger, and watch over all living creatures.
Choose us to love you through Jesus in whom you have instructed us, sanctified and honored us.
Purify us now by your truth, and guide our footsteps to walk in justice and holiness, in simplicity of heart and always pleasing in your sight.
Deliver us from those who unjustly hate us. Let your face shine upon us so that we may enjoy your blessings in peace.
Give peace and concord to us all!
We ask this through Jesus Christ your Son, through whom we pray that all glory and majesty be yours everywhere throughout the ages and forever.