A Brief History of Our Early and Original Church Fathers

Pope #4, St. Clement 1 – 88-97 A.D.
Hope all is well and happy new year my brothers and sisters in Christ and St. Dominic. I just wanted to share this. You can sign up to receive the pope of the day Monday-Friday by scrolling below.
I am also very interested in early Church history as it has helped me understand Catholicism and connect the dots for me personally.
I was blessed to be taught by Dr. Italy, Marcelinus D’Ambrosio, who is a historic theologian in an online masters of theology course I took at Catholic Distance University and in this one course I felt like I covered years of study in our great faith so I have dived into the early Church father’s for myself and Pope St. Clement 1 is a true pillar. He knew both St. Peter and St. Paul.
Read what Pope Benedict XVI spoke to a general audience about Pope St. Clement 1 – this is very short,
In addition, read Pope St. Clement 1 (who by the way was Jewish) own letter to the Corinthians written in 96 or 97 AD just before he was martyred. This letter could be written for us today and is very short also- “Stop bragging and remember what our Lord Jesus did for us”.
I have grown to love our early Church fathers and early Church history as it shows the early Christian Church’s steadfastness in the teaching of the Apostles after all the Apostles died from about the year 100-203.
In addition, I encourage you to research on your own the bishops St. Ignatius of Antioch, who was the 4th bishop of Antioch and knew the apostles as well. St. Peter was first bishop of Antioch. Antioch is the place the followers of Jesus were first called Christians as they were called followers of the WAY before. Also, this is not St. Ignatius of Loyola who came much later in the 1600’s and responsible for founding of the Jesuit order. St. Ignatius of Antioch was martyred in 107, thrown to the lions in the coliseum and I encourage you to read his 7 letters which he wrote on the 1000 mile walk to his death. I love this guy! It was he who first used the term Catholic, which simply means, one, holy, apostolic and universal. he also writes about the Eucharist and the heirarchy of Bishop, Presbyter or priest and deacon and this is all the way back in 100’s. Pope St. Clement 1 also wrote of these as did Polycarp and Iraneus.
Polycarp, who was bishop and learned from St. Ignatius of Antioch and was martyred in 155 is another early Church father we look to in our catholic link to the beginning followed by Iraneus who learned from Polycarp and died in 203.
God used Iraneus no doubt to record what was going on in the Church up to the year 203 and if God did not choose Iraneus He would have chosen another I am sure, but without Iraneus we are most likely up a creek without a paddle in explaining Catholicism apostolic succession from the beginning as he recorded all of it including every Bishop of Rome (who is Pope) since St. Peter, WOW! Thank God! Iraneus’ masterpiece is called Against Heresies and all this is recorded in it including every Bishop of Rome up until his death in 203.
There are others, so I will let you find others and get back to me on what and who you find, but these 4 I call the original doctors of the Church before the actual original doctors of the Church were named who in the west were – Ambrose, Augustine, Jerome and Pope Gregory the Great and in the East were – St. John Chrysostom, Basil the Great, Athanasius, Gregory of Nazianzus, who by the way, these 4 original doctors of the Eastern Church were not recognized as such until 1568, by none other than our beloved and last Dominican Pope Pius V, and the namesake for our newest group who I copied on this email.
As I say to the younger generation who I coach or get to speak to in introducing myself- “First and foremost, I love Jesus and I love being Catholic!”
Everyone, I hope this was educational and helpful and enjoy your own research.
Our Catholic faith and tradition is a treasure trove I am so joyful to be part of and share with others I could burst!
God is so GOOOOODDDDDD!!!!!
We are immensely blessed to be sisters and brothers of an amazing loving and merciful God and part of the faith, religion and tradition that came directly from Jesus The Christ Himself and passed down from our beloved Apostles, all of whom were Jewish I might add as Christ and Our Blessed Mother and St. Joseph were and was our 4th Pope St. Clement 1, so I like to tell others I am half Jewish, hahaha! But in a sense we are! Pope St. John Paul II often calls the Jews our elder brothers and sisters in the faith as we both trace our roots back to Abraham.
God bless you!
Fun fact – after a study of the bones kept under the Basilica of St. Peter’s square that we believe are the relics of St. Peter it is determined the man St. Peter was 5’7″ tall and built like a LineBacker in football. We know he was a fisherman so he had to be a stout and tough dude!
—– Forwarded Message —–
From: Popes in a Year <mail@flocknote.com>
To: Chas Defeo <chasdefeo@yahoo.com>
Sent: Thursday, January 4, 2018, 3:01:35 AM EST
Subject: #4 – Pope St. Clement I
Pope from 88-97 A.D.
Died: 97 A.D.

aka “St. Clement of Rome”

How do we know he was pope?
Like Linus & Cletus before him, Clement I is identified by St. Irenaeus in Adversus haeresis (“Against Heresy”) as the fourth pope and third successor of St. Peter. Ancient writers Eusebius and St. Jerome also put Clement I fourth in line.

Give me the scoop on Clement I.
Batting cleanup for the Church as Pope No. 4, St. Clement was a pretty big deal. He was Jewish by birth, and tradition suggests that he’s the same Clement mentioned by St. Paul in Philippians 4:3 (“…along with Clement and my other co-workers…”). St. Clement is traditionally remembered as having been martyred for the faith.

What was he known for?
We mentioned he’s a big deal: St. Clement’s letter to the Corinthians (yes, those Corinthians) is understood to be the oldest ancient Christian writing in existence after the Sacred Scriptures. Clement’s letter taught, among other things, that the Christian faith was one, holy, catholic, and apostolic (sound familiar?), that Christians should worship in sacred spaces, and that the offices of bishop, priest, and deacon were completely legit and willed by Christ. His letter was even read at Mass in many parts of the early Church, according to Eusebius’ History of the Church (written in the early 300s A.D.), and was written within a few years of when the Gospel of John was put to paper. Or, should we say, papyrus.

Fun Fact: 
St. Clement actually knew some of the Apostles, namely St. Peter (by whom he was ordained) and St. Paul. St. Irenaeus, in the same Adversus haeresis, wrote, “[Clement], as he had seen the blessed apostles, and had been conversant with them, might be said to have the preaching of the apostles still echoing [in his ears], and their traditions before his eyes.”

What else was going on in the world at the time?
Jewish historian Josephus died around the year 100 A.D., near the end of Clement’s papacy. Josephus was the guy who said, “yep, they were real” in affirming the existences of both Jesus and John the Baptist, thus giving a valuable non-Christian historical insight into the facts of the early Church.

Coming tomorrow….Pope St. Evaristus


About Popes in a Year
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Sent by Lauren Power

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