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Clement I of Rome

Pope Saint Clement I

Born: unknown

Died: 98 A.D.

Canonized: pre-Congregation

Feast Day: November 23

Patron Saint of: marble workers

Also known as Clement of Rome.

Pope Saint Clement I is the third successor (after St. Linus and St. Cletus) to St. Peter. Nothing in known about the life of St. Clement. He was martyred around the year 98 A.D.

One account, of which the accuracy is unknown, tell that St. Cletus converted many high-ranking citizens of the region before being exiled to Crimea by Trajan. There, with the charism of miracles, he coverts several thousand to Christianity. Learning of this, Trajan codemns Clement to death by drowning into the sea with an iron anchor. According to this 4th century legend, the tide would recede every year by two miles, revealing a Divinely built shrine which contains the martyr's bones.

About the year 868 A.D., St. Cyril recovered some human bones and an anchor which he believed to be the relics of St. Clement. This account does not make mention of the earlier story or the annual tidal revealing shrine. St. Cyril took these relics to Rome where they were joined with relics of St. Ignatius of Antioch at the basilica of St. Clement in Rome.

The patronage of marble workers undoubtedly comes from the oral tradition that the anchor which was the instrument of Saint Clement's drowning was, as was common of the time, made of marble.