The So-Called Second Letter of St. Clement
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“And let us not merely seem to pay attention and to believe now, while being admonished by the presbyters, but also, when we have gone home, let us remember the commandments of the Lord...”
The Second Letter of St. Clement is, in fact, neither a letter nor by St. Clement. It is, instead, a homily and the oldest example of Christian preaching that we have outside of Scripture. Its appearance alongside St. Clement’s Letter to the Corinthians in many early manuscripts earns it its title.
Highlights include affirmation of Christ’s divinity, emphasis placed upon the resurrection of the body, and some moving words on penance. Among the numerous Scriptural references, there are a few instances of quotation from unknown sources (likely one or more apocryphal gospels).
Though we may not be able to attribute this text to any particular figure among the early Fathers, you’ll find that it’s no less edifying—and, perhaps, all the more intriguing—for it.
Mike Aquilina on St. Clement of Rome https://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/clement-rome-earliest-christian-author-after-apostles/
Translation courtesy of Catholic University of America Press: https://www.hfsbooks.com/books/the-apostolic-fathers-walsh-grimm-marique/
Alternate Translation at CatholicCulture.org: https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/fathers/view.cfm?recnum=1990
Theme music: 2 Part Invention, composed by Mark Christopher Brandt, performed by Thomas Mirus. ©️2019 Heart of the Lion Publishing Co./BMI. All rights reserved.
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