Sunday, May 26, 2024

The Great Cloud of Witnesses

Pope St. Cletus and Pope St. Marcellinus
Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M.

Pope St. Cletus and Pope St. Marcellinus

April 26

St. Cletus (1st c.) and St. Marcellinus (3rd c.) were both Romans, popes, and martyrs who ruled the Holy See during the terrible persecution of Christians at the hands of the Roman Empire. St. Cletus was a convert and disciple of St. Peter the Apostle who became the third Bishop of Rome from 76 to 89 A.D., under the reigns of Roman Emperors Vespasian and Titus. His name appears in the Roman Canon of the Mass. St. Marcellinus was the twenty-ninth Bishop of Rome from 296 to 304 A.D. during the infamous persecution of the Roman Emperor Diocletian, on the eve of the legalization of Christianity across the Empire. Statues of these two popes of the early Church sit on opposite corners of the portico ceiling of Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome. They share a feast day on April 26th.

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