Memorial of St. Clement of Rome, Pope

Today is the memorial of St. Clement of Rome, the third pope after St. Peter.  Little is known about his life and death, except for a wonderful epistle to the Corinthians which he wrote toward the end of the first century. The Corinthian church was beset with discord at the time, and his letter to them was meant to strengthen the bonds of peace there.

Here is an excerpt in English from the Italian text that I used:

“Therefore, brothers, we fight with all our strength under [Jesus’] unshakeable commands. The great cannot live without the small, nor the small without the great.  All live amongst each other with reciprocal advantage to all. We take as an example our bodies. The head is nothing without the feet just as the feet are nothing without the head. Also, the most insignificant members of our bodies are necessary and useful to the whole body; therefore all come together and give themselves to the same purpose, i.e., that the whole body remain strong.

“May all of us be assured then of salvation in Christ Jesus, and each of us be subject to our neighbor according to the gift of grace that has been entrusted to him. He who is strong should take care of the weak and the weak respect the strong. The rich should come to the aid of the poor, and the poor should praise God that he has been given someone who fills his poverty. The wise should show his wisdom not with words but with good works; the humble ought not give witness to himself, but leave to others to give it to him. Having received from God all these things, we give him thanks for it all.  To him be glory in all the ages. Amen.” — St. Clement of Rome, Letter to the Corinthians, Capp. 38; Funk 1, 105-109

Amazing how the needs of the Church remain similar to the needs of the ancient Church 2000 years ago.

By the way, the Church of St. Clement is in Rome, between the Coliseum and the Basilica of St. John Lateran.

About Deacon Bob

Moderator: Deacon Bob Yerhot of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, Minnesota.
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