St. Clement was called into existence in the year 1904 by Bishop Thomas J. Conaty and has endured many changes in its 109 years of existence. Today it is still adapting and looking into the future in order to better serve its faithful.
St. Clement Pope and Martyr
Feast Day November 23
St. Clement was the third successor of St. Peter, and probably a contemporary of both St. Peter and St. Paul in Rome. St. Clement is mentioned in the ancient First Eucharistic Prayer (also called the Roman Canon), and may be the Clement who is mentioned by St. Paul as a co-worker in his letter to the Philippians (4:3). A church near the Roman Coliseum named in Clement’s honor consists in four separate layers, the first dating to the first century A.D.
As bishop of Rome, Clement wrote several letters. He proclaimed the tradition, which he had recently received from the Apostles Peter and Paul. Pope St. Clement I urged unity in Christ and tried to reestablish peace and renew faith. His authoritative letter made his name famous. Roman emperor Trajan exiled him to Crimea where Clement worked as a slave among rock quarries. Although the closest water source for the slaves was thought to be about six miles away, Clement was inspired to discover one much closer where they could drink. Clement preached the Word of the Lord so effectively among the slaves working the rock quarries, that within a short time 75 Christian communities were developed in the vicinity. He was then cast into the sea with an anchor tied around his neck.
His image is portrayed with a large anchor next to him. He is dressed in the garments of a bishop (red for martyrdom), wearing a mitre (pointed hat) and holding crozier (shepherd’s staff).
It is said that angels prepared a sepulcher for him under the ocean waves, and perhaps that is why several places near the waters of Southern California are named after him: the Channel Island of San Clemente, the seaside town in Orange County, and the St. Clement parish on the Santa Monica-Venice border.