Today, November 23, is the memorial of St. Clement I, pope and martyr.
St. Clement was the third bishop of Rome, after St. Peter. He is known to us mostly through his famous letter to the Church at Corinth. But we also know about him through the later Church Fathers.
“I ask you also, who are a true co-worker, to help these women, for they have labored side by side with me in the gospel, together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.”3
He was beatified in 1988.
In 1927 when Father Miguel Pro was executed, no one could have predicted that 52 years later the bishop of Rome would visit Mexico, be welcomed by its president and celebrate open-air Masses before thousands of people. Pope John Paul II made additional trips to Mexico in 1990, 1993 and 1999. Those who outlawed the Catholic Church in Mexico did not count on the deeply rooted faith of its people and the willingness of many of them, like Miguel Pro, to die as martyrs.
During his homily at the beatification Mass, Pope John Paul II said that Father Pro
“is a new glory for the beloved Mexican nation, as well as for the Society of Jesus. His life of sacrificing and intrepid apostolate was always inspired by a tireless evangelizing effort. Neither suffering nor serious illness, neither the exhausting ministerial activity, frequently carried out in difficult and dangerous circumstances, could stifle the radiating and contagious joy which he brought to his life for Christ and which nothing could take away (see John 16:22). Indeed, the deepest root of self-sacrificing surrender for the lowly was his passionate love for Jesus Christ and his ardent desire to be conformed to him, even unto death.”