Saint of the Day – 26 April – St Pope Cletus (c25-c89) 3rd Bishop of Rome and MARTYR – also known as Anacletus and Celto – Relics reside in relics in Saint Linus Church, Vatican City
St Pope Cletus led the fledgling Church during the reign of Emperors Vespasian and Domitian. The name Cletus, in ancient Greek, means “one who has been called.” Pope Saint Cletus is remembered as having been converted by St Peter and ordained by the first pope as well. His name is included in the Roman Canon of the Mass. Saint Cletus was traditionally said to have been born and raised a Roman, and following his ordination and ascension, served the Church for twelve years as the third pope. During that time, he is said to have divided Rome into twenty-five parishes, as well as ordained a significant number of priests to serve the growing Church. He is also the first pope to build a shrine over the relics of Saint Peter, which would eventually become the basilica that stands today.
The canon of the Roman mass, St Bede, St Augustine and other Martyrologists, style him a martyr, although the direct events of his death for the faith have been lost to history. He was Martyred in the persecutions of Domitian.