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Catholic Activity: Pope St. Clement

Pope St. Clement was the fourth pope, probably ordained by St. Peter himself. Feast Day Cookbook gives a few legends about this famous pope and includes a recipe for stuffed leg of pork.


Saint Clement, who became the fourth of the popes, is said to have been ordained by Saint Peter himself. To him has been attributed the literary work known as the Clementines, a long account which some have called the first Christian novel; it deals with the magician Simon Magus, with holy men and women, and with demons; of the latter it warns that the man who is greedy may swallow a demon with his food which will hide in his body forever after.

According to one legend, in fleeing from his persecutors Saint Clement suffered so much from blistered feet that he put wool in his sandals. This "felted" the wool and when he reached Rome and safety, he turned the accidental discovery to use and created the felt industry! Later martyred, his body was cast into the sea and ever afterward on the anniversary of his death, says the legend, the sea withdraws at that spot and reveals a little marble shrine where rest his remains.

In England Saint Clement is the patron saint of blacksmiths. It was the custom in former times for one of their number, in a great-coat and mask and long white beard, to be carried through the streets on the shoulders of his mates. One companion strode along beside him with a huge wooden anvil, and another, as if to protect him, carried a great wooden sledge. From his perch the "saint" made a speech beginning:

Gentlemen all, attention give And wish Saint Clement long to live.
The feast of Saint Clement is still observed in the dockyards of London. Masters of the trade give a dinner to their workmen and apprentices which features a Wayz Goose, which is not a goose at all but a leg of pork stuffed with sage and onions.

Activity Source: Feast Day Cookbook by Katherine Burton and Helmut Ripperger, David McKay Company, Inc., New York, 1951

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