Ordained by Peter

In the Eucharistic Prayer, when the priest invokes “Linus, Cletus, Clement …” he is referring to St Peter’s successors as Pope. All the early ones were martyred; apart from that and a famous letter, St Clement I is a mysterious figure.

According to tradition, St Peter ordained him as bishop. According to an early Christian text, he was a kind of nuncio, whose job was communicating with bishops in communion with Rome.

But is he the figure mentioned by St Paul in Philippians (“… Clement and those other fellow labourers of mine, whose names are recorded in the book of life”)?

Is he the Clement whose father Flavius married the emperor’s sister – after which the emperor killed Flavius? The record is too patchy to be sure.

A delayed letter

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