Almost Made It…

Today the church honors an apostolic pillar whose writings almost (and should have!) made it into the Biblical canon: St. Clement, Theologian and Bishop of Rome.

Little is known about the life of St. Clement, who was probably the fourth Bishop of Rome. He lived and died right around the year 100, and may be the same Clement written about in the book of Philippians (4:3). He was certainly the writer, though, of the Epistle of Clement I (though probably not the Epistle of Clement II).

Ordained by St. Peter, Clement was said to be banished to Crimea during the reign of Trajan, forced to work in the mines. It was there, it is said, that he was tied to an anchor and thrown into the Black Sea (the anchor is his saintly symbol).

But though so little is known about Clement, we certainly know much about his thoughts and his voice. In the year 96 Clement authored a letter from the Church at Rome to the Church at Corinth. This letter is the earliest Christian document we have in existence, with the exception of some New Testament writings, and was written to encourage the Church at Corinth to avoid a schism and remain steadfast to one another. It’s a letter of pastoral advice.

This letter was so widely known, and so widely revered, at early manuscripts of the New Testament include it in the canon.

St. Clement is a reminder for you, and should be for the whole church, that not all that is holy is contained in the canon, Beloved.

-historical bits from Pfatteicher’s _New Book of Festivals & Commemorations_