The Book of Popes makes a list that makes Linus the second in line of the Bishop of Rome, or Pope. Peter was the first. It also says that Peter ordained two bishops, Linus and Cletus, for priestly service, while he spent time praying and preaching. It was Clement that he entrusted the Church as a whole, Saint Jerome listed Clement as “the fourth bishop of Rome after Peter, if indeed the second was Linus and the third Cletus. A tradition that began in the 3rd and 4th century, has identified him as the Clement that Paul mentioned in Philippians, a fellow laborer in Christ.
A large congregation existed in Rome in 58 when Paul wrote his Epistle to the Romans. Paul arrived in Rome c. 60 (Acts) Paul and Peter were martyred there. Nero persecuted Roman Christians after Rome burned in 64. The congregation suffered further persecution under Domitian (81–96).
Clement was the first of early Rome’s most notable bishops The Book of Popes indicated Clement had known Peter. Clement is known for his letter to the church in Corinth, saying there is an apostolic authority of bishops as rulers of the church. Clement writes to the troubled congregation in Corinth, where certain bishops have been replaced. Clement calls for repentance and reinstatement of those who have been replaced, in line with order and obedience to church authority, since the apostles established the ministry of “bishops and deacons.”He mentions “offering the gifts” as one of the functions of the clergy. The epistle offers valuable insight into Church ministry at that time and into the history of the Roman Church. It was considered important and was read in church at Corinth along with the Scriptures.
Do we then think it to be a great and marvelous thing, if the Creator of the universe shall bring about the resurrection of them that have served Him with holiness in the assurance of a good faith, seeing that He showeth to us even by a bird the magnificence of His promise? — Clement of Rome 1885b, 1 Clem 26:1
According to a 4th-century legend, Clement was banished from Rome to the Chersonesus during the reign of Emperor Trajan and was set to work in a stone quarry. Finding on his arrival that the prisoners were suffering from a lack of water, he knelt down in prayer. Looking up, he saw a lamb on a hill, went to where the lamb had stood, and struck the ground with his pickaxe, releasing a gushing stream of clear water. This miracle resulted in the conversion of large numbers of the local pagans and their fellow prisoners to Christianity. As punishment, Clement was martyred by being tied to an anchor and thrown from a boat into the Black Sea. The legend recounts that every year a miraculous ebbing of the sea revealed a divinely built shrine containing his bones. The oldest sources on Clement’s life, Eusebius and Jerome, say nothing of his martyrdom.
Pope Anacletus also known as Cletus, was bishop of Rome, following Peter and Linus. He served as pope between 79 and his death, around the year 92. Cletus was a Roman who, ordained a number of priests. He is believed to have set up about 25 parishes in Rome. He is mentioned in the Roman Canon of the mass;
Cletus was traditionally understood to have been a Roman who served as pope for twelve years. For the first two centuries, the dates of the start and the end of the popes are uncertain. According to tradition, Pope Cletus divided Rome into twenty-five parishes. One of the few surviving records concerning his papacy mentions him as having ordained a number of priests.
Cletus was buried next to his predecessor, Linus, near the grave of Peter, in what is now Vatican City. His feast day is April 26.
Pope Saint Cletus was the third pope after Peter and Linus. The “Liber Pontificalis” says that his father was Emelianus and that Cletus was a Roman by birth, and belonged to the quarter known as the Vicus Patrici. Early Church writers often use more than one name for him. Sometimes he’s called Cletus. Other times he’s called Anacletus, or Anencletus. Pope Saint Cletus ordained several priests while he was pope. He is credited with setting up about twenty-five parishes in Rome. He was the pope for twelve years from 76 to 89. He is mentioned in the Roman Canon of the Mass.
Right around the beginning of St. Cletus’ papacy, the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum were destroyed and buried after the eruption of Moun Vesuvius. He was martyred in the persecutions of Domitian. He was buried near St. Linus in the Vatican and his relics are still there.
Pope Vitalian is believed to have been born September 27, 580, near Rome, little else is known of his early life. He was consecrated as pope on July 30, 657. He did several things in his fifteen years as pope. Vitalian tried to restore the connection with Eastern Church at Constantinople by sending a friendly letter to Emperor Constans II. The emperor agreed Vaitalia was the Holy See and head of the Church in the West. He sent to Rome a book of the Gospels in a cover of gold richly ornamented with precious stones as a gift. Vitalian returned the kindness toward Constans when he came to Rome in 663 to spend twelve days there.
He was able to bring disagreeing parties together over the date of Easter with the Catholic Church in England. He appointed a new archbishop of Canterbury, Theodore of Tarsus. Vitalian was a fair judge, too. Bishop John of Lappa, Greece, was illegally dismissed by his archbishop. John appealed to Pope Vitalian. John was thrown into jail for asking the pope to intervene. Pope Vitalian asked a group of clergy to hear the case. They found John innocent. Pope Vitalian wrote the archbishop commanding him to reinstate John, and quit dismissing good bishops.
Vitalian died on January 27, 672. The introduction of church organ music is traditionally believed to date from the time of Vitalian’s papacy
Pope Marcellus I was born January 6, 255, was the was the bishop of Rome from May or June 308 until his death. He succeeded Marcellinus, after a period of time. Under the Roman emperor, Maxentius, he was banished from Rome in 309. This was came from the discontent of Christians from the severity of the penances he had imposed on Christians who hadn’t kept the faith under other recent persecutions. He was followed by Pope Eusebius
For a time after the death of Marcellinus in 304, the Diocletian continued his persecution continued nonstop with incredibly cruelty. After Diocletian abdicated in 305, Maxentius became Caesar. Christians enjoyed comparative peace. It still took another two years before a new bishop of Rome was elected. In 308, Marcellus first entered on his office Marcellus found the church in great confusion. The meeting-places and some of the cemeteries had been confiscated. Ordinary life and activity of the church was interrupted. Many weaker members who had fallen away during the persecution. Those that stayed demanded the weak should have to do heavy penance to be readmitted to communion.
Marcellus divided the church territory into twenty-five districts with a priest, who prepared the catechumens for baptism and directed the performance of public penances. The priest was responsible for the burial of the dead and for the celebrations of the martyrs. The pope also had a new burial place laid out.
At the beginning of the 600s, there were twenty-five churches in Rome.
This work of the pope was interrupted by the disagreements about readmitting people. Marcellus was called wicked by those who had lapsed because he believe they should perform penance for their guilt. Serious conflicts ensued. Some ended in bloodshed. The leader of the dissenters was an apostate who had denied the Faith even before the outbreak of persecution. The tyrannical Maxentius had the pope seized and sent into exile at the end of 308 Marcellus died shortly after leaving Rome, and was venerated as a saint.Since 1969 his feast day was January 16, on local calendars, and is no longer on the General Roman Calendar.