Today we commemorate San Anacleto and San Marcelino, Popes separated by two centuries

The Catholic Church celebrates today, April 26, two saints who lived in different times -with a distance of about two centuries between them-, but who share the fact of having been Primates of the Church. They are the Popes San Anacleto and San Marcelino.

San Anacleto was the third pontiff of the Church, after San Pedro and San Lino. Pope Anacletus is also known as “Cleto”, “Anacleto” or “Anencleto” (variations of his name in Latin and Greek that have generated some confusion as to whether they are two different people). The apostle Saint Peter met him, baptized him and ordained him a priest in the church of Rome. Together with Lino, Anacleto was among the main disciples of Pedro and they were his successors.

Pope Anacleto or Cleto

According to the Liber Pontificalis or “Book of the Popes”, “Cleto” held the chair of Saint Peter during the empires of Vespasian and Titus. It is not certain whether he was born in Rome or Athens. As pontiff he cared for the needy by collecting alms, encouraged Christians in the midst of persecution, and ordained a significant number of priests.

The beginning of his pontificate is between the years 76 and 80, while the end, between 88 and 92. The name of “Cleto” appears in the Roman Canon (Eucharistic Prayer I), this being the most common way to call to this dad. It strengthens the thesis that he suffered the martyrdom that is mentioned in that list of the Roman Canon. His body is preserved in Saint Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican.

San Anacleto in the Catholic Encyclopedia: https://ec.aciprensa.com/wiki/Papa_San_Cleto.

Pope Marcellin

On the other hand, Saint Marcellin, elected Pope on June 30, 296, was head of the Church during the last and perhaps the greatest persecution, carried out by the Roman Emperor Diocletian.

This persecution -very cruel due to the nature of its edicts- was executed from the year 303 by the august and co-emperor Maximiano Herculio. Pope Saint Marcellin died the following year (304), probably of natural causes. No reliable source of the s. IV and V mention him as a martyr. His body was entombed in the Catacomb of Priscilla on the Via Salaria.

San Marcelino in the Catholic Encyclopedia: https://ec.aciprensa.com/wiki/Papa_San_Marcelino.

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