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St. Clement I

Pope St. Clement I was a disciple of St. Peter the Apostle and his third successor. He is the same Clement that St. Paul mentions in one of his letters. His teaching and writings won so many converts to the Faith that the Emperor Trajan exiled him to Kherson, in Crimea, which is on the Black Sea. There he found other Christians, all condemned like himself to work in the mines there. At one point there was a great drought in the area and everyone was in great need for water. Pope Clement prayed and God showed him a spring. This angered the Roman authorities and he was condemned to death by drowning. A large anchor was tied around his neck and he was thrown into the Black Sea. Several centuries later Sts. Cyril and Methodius decided to look for his relics. Tradition gave them many clues by which to go on, and with prayer they succeeded. When they came to Rome to get the blessing of the Pope on their work among the Slavic people, they brought some of his relics with them to give to the Pope. But his skull is still kept in the Cave Monastery in Kyiv, Ukraine, which belongs to the Russian Orthodox. It exudes a fragrant oil, which the Byzantine rite calls myhrr and is greatly venerated.

Let us all pray to the Lord Jesus Christ,” said the blessed Clement, “that He may open the course of the spring to his people so that we may thank Him for His benefits. He who struck the rock in the desert of Sinai, and made the waters flow in abundance, may He bestow on us the abundant water.” When he had finished his prayer and looked round about, he saw, upon a mountain, the Lamb of God standing; from under His foot a living spring flows out.