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“The Martyrdom of Clement - Greek Text and English translation”

Chapters 178 - 185 from Dressel, Alberti Rud. Max. Clementinorum Epitomae Duae (with link to the original Greek text of the whole work).

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Click here to read at with a link to the original Greek text. The English translation below is by the Revd Andrew Maguire (not to be used or reproduced without permission)..

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178. Then Mamertinus, the prefect, sent a formal report to the emperor Trajan concerning the blessed Clement saying: “The people do not stop asking for this Clement with seditious rants, and a credible proof of the case against him cannot be found”. The emperor Trajan replied that Clement must either show consent by making a sacrifice, or be banished across the sea and Pontus in a deserted town next to Cherson.

179. When the decree of Trajan was ratified Mamertinus considered how Clement might not seek voluntary exile, but rather make offerings to the gods. But the blessed Clement endeavoured to bring even the mind of the judge himself to faith in Christ, and to show that for himself he preferred exile rather than being cowed by fear. The Lord gave such grace to Clement that the prefect Mamertinus lamented and said: “The God to whom you are so single-mindedly devoted will come to your aid in this sentence of exile.” He set aside a ship, put on board all that was needed and sent it on its way. There were actually many pious men from among the people who followed it.

180. When he reached the place of exile he found there more than two thousand Christians working in the marble quarries who had been sentenced much earlier. When they saw the holy and celebrated Clement they all with one accord came to him with sighs and lamentations and said: “Pray for us, high priest, that we might be shown worthy of our profession of Christian faith.” When Clement realised that they had been banished because of their faith in God he said: “It was not without good reason that the Lord sent me here. It was so that I could share in your sufferings and bring an example of consolation and endurance.”

181. He learned from them that they had to carry water from six miles away on their shoulders. So the holy Clement immediately urged them saying: “Let us pray to our Lord Jesus Christ that he might open up a supply of water for those who profess faith in him. May the one who struck the rock in the desert of Sinai (and abundant waters flowed) supply for us a plentiful stream so that we can rejoice in his generous help.” When he had finished offering this prayer he looked around this way and that and saw a lamb standing there which raised its right foot, as though showing the place to Clement. Then holy Clement, believing that it was the Lord, whom he alone could see and nobody else at all, went to the place and said: “In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, you must strike in this place.” They all formed a circle and dug with their spades, but it was not the place where the lamb stood. So then holy Clement took a small spade and with a light blow struck the place under the foot of the lamb. There immediately appeared from the spot a stream that was beautiful with bubbling springs. It came forth with such force that it became a river. Then, as they all rejoiced, holy Clement said: “There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God.” [Psalm 46:4]

182. When news about this spread the whole province rushed to see and all those who came to hear Clement’s teaching were converted to the Lord. So each day more than five hundred were leaving as baptized Christians. Within a year seventy-five churches were established there by the faithful. All the idols were shattered, all the temples of the surrounding region were destroyed and all the sacred groves within a radius of thirty miles were cut down and brought to the ground.

183. Then a hostile account reached the emperor Trajan of how the Christian population there had increased to a countless number. The military commander Aufidianus was sent by him and he killed most of the Christians with a variety of tortures. When he saw that they all went to martyrdom with joy he gave up with the rest and began trying to force Clement alone to make a sacrifice. When he saw that he was so firm in the Lord and totally unwilling to change his mind he said to his executioners: “take him and transport him to the middle of the sea. Tie an iron anchor firmly to his neck and throw him down to the depths, so that the Christians cannot retrieve his body and worship him instead of God.”

184. When this had been done the full multitude of Christians stood on the sea shore and wept aloud. Faced with this Cornelius and Phoebus his disciples said: “Let us all pray with one accord that the Lord may show us the relics of his martyr.” When the people were praying the sea was drawn back into a unique deep hollow of about three miles in dimension. When the people went across the dry land they found a building made ready by God in the form a marble temple, and there the body of holy Clement was lying and the anchor with which had been thrown overboard was there next to him.

185. It was revealed to his disciples that they should not remove his relics from that place. It was also revealed to them that each year on the day of his martyrdom the sea would draw back for seven days and give dry passage to those who came. The Lord was pleased that this should happen to the glory of his name up to our own day. When this happened all the people in the surrounding area trusted in Christ. There no Gentile, no Jew and certainly no heretic is found. For there very many blessings are experienced. Sight is restored to the blind on his feast day, demons are cast out, the sick are healed. Those suffering with kidney problems and stones are freed from their ailment simply by touching his relics, and by the sprinkling and drinking of the consecrated water. Those who suffer from any kind of sickness experience the benefit of healing by having recourse to the help of the holy martyr. His glory and praise endure for ever through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom and with whom glory be to the Father, with his most holy and life-giving Spirit, now and always and for ever and ever. Amen


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The Martyrdom of Clement
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