Some people think it would be terrible to be a martyr which means dying because of your faith.
But at least you died for what you believed in and stood your ground for the Lord. Two martyrs that aren’t as well known are Pope Clement I and Sister Leonella Sgorbati. They both faced death for what they had faith in.
Clement I was born in Rome, Italy, his birth date unknown, and died in the first century A.D. in Chersonesus, Greece. Not much information is said about Clement’s early life but according to an early Christian writer, Tertullian, Clement was said to have been consecrated by Peter.
Clement was also brought up in the school of Apostles. Clement I was the first Apostolic Father from 88 A.D. to 99 A.D.
An Apostolic Father was any Greek Christian writer whose writings dated from the late first century to the early second century. At the time there were several bishops instead of one, so “pope” doesn’t really apply to this situation but Clement is still called Pope Clement I. Little is known about Pope Clement’s papacy, but it was said by many of the Latins, that Clement was the successor of Peter the Apostle. St.
Jerome had said that he somewhat followed this opinion, but he also correctly stated that Clement was the fourth pope. Others state that Pope Clement I was preceded by Peter, Linus, and Cetus/Anacletus. There are several ideas and opinions on how and when Pope Clement I became a pope, but the main reason he is known is for his writings. Pope Clement I is probably best known for his letter to a church in Corinth, which is mainly called 1 Clement. Pope Clement’s letter mainly consisted of Catholic ecclesiology. Ecclesiology is the study of the Church and how the Church understands itself. In Pope Clement’s letter, 1 Clement, it demonstrated ancient Roman churches and guided the conduct of other churches. Pope Clement’s letter was read in many early Christian churches and was included in many manuscripts.
It was even included in Paul’s letters. Another of Clement’s writings were in two different versions known as Clementine literature: Clementine Homilies and Clementine Recognitions. Both versions consist of twenty books, the Clementine Homilies were found in Greek, but the Clementine Recognitions were found in a different language by Rufinus, and the original Greek was lost. These versions are both about early Christian romance. They both talk about communication with the Apostle Peter, when Clement traveled with Peter, and Clement’s family history. Clement I also wrote Apostolic Fathers, however, scholars dated these writings to the second century.
It is now questioned if Clement actually wrote Apostolic Fathers and are challenged with his authorship of 1 Clement. There are several other writings said to be written by Clement but were found out to belong to some other author. Examples of these writings falsely attributed to Clement were the Epistles to Virgins, Apostolic Constitutions, Apostolic Canons, and the Testament of our Lord. Not only was Pope Clement I mixed up with some authors, but he was also mixed up with Titus Flavius Clemens who was a saint of the Roman Orthodox Church. Some even argue that Pope Clement I died a natural death and it was Flavius Clemens who was martyred, not Cement I.A reason why Pope Clement I was martyred was because he miraculously converted Sisinnius, a courtier of Nerva, and his wife, Theodora. Soon after their conversion, four hundred more people converted.
Trajan, the emperor at the time, was angered by this and banished Clement to Crimea to work at a stone quarry. There he miraculously satisfied the thirst of two thousand Christians who confessed. After that seventy five churches were originated and many others were converted. For Clement’s punishment, Trajan ordered Clement to be tied to an anchor and thrown into the Black Sea. The Catholic Encyclopedia, however, states that this story could be no older than the fourth century. Although, in 868 A.
D., Saint Cyril was on his way to preach to the Khazars when he found a pile of bones with an anchor. These bones were believed to have belonged to Pope Clement I.You will often see Pope Clement I with an anchor, a fish, a millstone, keys, a fountain, or a book. The anchor and fish represent his death and the millstone represents his banishment to the stone quarry. The keys represent a pope, the fountain reminds us of when it miraculously sprung from the ground, and a book represents his writings.Clement’s legacy mainly comes from his writings and the story of his death. He could have been a follower of the Apostle Peter and then become a church leader and his attributed writings, mainly 1 Clement, were a huge factor in the church history.
Even though scholars still aren’t positive if some of the writings attributed to him were his and if the story of his martyrdom is true, Pope Clement I is still an important historical figure.