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December 9, 2019 - Hatour 29, 1736

Martyrdom of St. Clement, Pope of Rome

This day also marks the martyrdom of St. Clement, Pope of Rome. This Saint was born in Rome to an honorable father whose name was Fostinus; who was a member of the Senate. His father educated him and taught him Greek literature. When St. Peter, the Apostle, came to Rome and Clement heard about his teaching, he called him to appear before him and they discussed many things together. The Apostle explained to him the falsehood of idol worship and proved to him the Divinity of the Lord Christ, in Whose Name they preached and performed miracles. He believed at his hands, was baptized by him, and followed him since that day. St. Clement wrote the biography of the Apostles and what happened to them at the hands of the kings and rulers. He preached in numerous cities and many believed at his hands. He was the one to whom the apostles gave their Canon Books. He became the Archbishop of Rome in the latter part of the first century A.D. He preached there and brought many of its people to the knowledge of the Lord Christ.

Emperor Trajan heard of him and ordered him to be seized and brought to him. The Emperor commanded him to worship the idols and deny the Lord Christ, but St. Clement refused. Because the Emperor feared torturing him before the people of the city and before his family, he exiled him to a city and wrote a message to its Governor, telling him to torture St. Clement, then to kill him. The Governor tied his neck to an anchor and cast him into the sea. In this way, the Saint delivered up his pure spirit and received the crown of martyrdom, in the year 100 A.D. One year after his departure, the sea water receded off his body, which appeared in the bottom of the sea as though he was alive. Many went in and were blessed and they decided to take the body away from its place. They brought a marble coffin and laid him in it and when they wanted to take his body out of the sea, they were unable to move it. They knew that he did not wish to be moved from his place, so they left him and departed. On the day of his feast each year, the sea would flow back and the visitors would enter and be blessed by him. Many frequently travelled to see this wonder. Among the many miracles written about him: One year the visitors went in to visit and to be blessed by him and when they left, they forgot a little child who was behind the coffin of the Saint. This was according to the Lord Christ's Will, in order to reveal the honor of His beloved ones and the grace they had received from Him. When the child's parents remembered their son, they went back to the sea, but they found the water was back and that it had covered the casket. They realized that their son must be dead and devoured by the beasts of the sea. They wept over him and commemorated him as was the custom. The next year, when the sea waters receded, the people entered, as was their custom, and were amazed to find the child alive. They asked him how he existed and what he had eaten. He replied, The Saint fed me, gave me drink, and protected me from the beasts of the sea. They praised the Lord Christ Who is glorified in all His saints. May His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.