Monday, November 23, 2020

Anchored Cross

 Today is the feast of Pope St. Clement of Rome, one of the Apostolic Fathers. He is traditionally regarded as the fourth bishop of Rome (after Peter, Linus, and Anacletus) and to have been consecrated a bishop by St. Peter himself. He is associated with the symbol of the cross shaped like an anchor, a reference both to hope (Hebrews 6:19) and to legends of his having been martyred under Trajan by being tied to an anchor and thrown into the sea. From the forty-second chapter of I Clement, his letter to the church at Corinth:

The apostles have preached the gospel to us from the Lord Jesus Christ; Jesus Christ [has done so] from God. Christ therefore was sent forth by God, and the apostles by Christ. Both these appointments, then, were made in an orderly way, according to the will of God. Having therefore received their orders, and being fully assured by the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, and established in the word of God, with full assurance of the Holy Ghost, they went forth proclaiming that the kingdom of God was at hand. And thus preaching through countries and cities, they appointed the first fruits [of their labours], having first proved them by the Spirit, to be bishops and deacons of those who should afterwards believe. Nor was this any new thing, since indeed many ages before it was written concerning bishops and deacons. For thus says the Scripture in a certain place, "I will appoint their bishops in righteousness, and their deacons in faith."