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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Clement of Rome: Pope and Martyr 101

first Apostolic Father, pope from 88 to 97, or from 92 to 101, supposed third successor of St. Peter. According to the early Christian writer Tertullian, he was consecrated by Peter. Bishop St. Irenaeus of Lyon lists him as a contemporary of the Apostles and witness of their preaching.
"We call upon You, O Master, to be our helper and defender! [Ps. cxix. 114.] Save such of us as are in affliction; have pity on the humble; raise up the fallen; show yourself to such as are in want; heal the sick; convert those of Your people that are in error; feed the hungry; ransom our prisoners; raise up the feeble; comfort the weak-hearted. Let all the Gentiles know that You are God alone [I. Kings viii. 60], and that Jesus Christ is Your Son, and that we are Your people and the sheep of Your pasture. [Ps. c. 3.] You did manifest the perpetual constitution of the universe by Your works therein. You, O Lord, did create the world! You are faithful throughout all generations; You are righteous in Your judgments; You are wonderful in Your strength and splendor; You are wise to create and [ingenious] to establish the things that are made; You are good in Your works which are seen, and faithful with such as put their confidence in You; You are merciful and full of compassion. [Please] forgive us our transgressions and our unrighteousness, our faults and our weaknesses! Impute not to Your servants... all their sin; but cleanse us thoroughly by Your truth, and direct our steps that we may walk in holiness and righteousness and simplicity of heart, and that we may do that which is good and well pleasing in the sight of You and of our rulers. [Ps. cxix. 133; Deut. xiii. 8.] [Please], Lord, cause Your face to shine upon us for blessing [Ps. Ixvi. 2], with peace, that we may be covered by Your mighty hand and be delivered from all sin by Your high arm. [Ex. vi.1.] Save us from them that hate us without a cause. Grant peace and concord to us and all that dwell upon the earth, as You gave it unto our fathers when they called upon You in faith and truth with holiness; that we may obey Your almighty and all-holy Name, and render submission to our rulers and governors upon the earth."

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    O God, most glorious, most bountiful, accept, we humbly beseech thee, our praises and thanksgivings for thy holy Catholic Church, the mother of us all who bear the name of Christ; for the faith which it hath conveyed in safety to our time, and the mercies by which it hath enlarged and comforted the souls of men; for the virtues which it hath established upon earth, and the holy lives by which it glorifieth both the world and thee; to whom, O blessed Trinity (+), be ascribed all honour, might, majesty and dominion, now and for ever. Amen.
    --Bishop Lancelot Andrewes

Societas Sanctae Crucis

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