THE HIEROMARTYR CLEMENT OF ANCYRA

January 23

From the Prologue

Clement was born in the year 258 A.D. in the city of Ancyra of a pagan father and a Christian mother. His devout mother Euphrosyne prophesised that her son would die a martyr's death and then she departed this world when Clement was twelve years old. Her friend Sophia took Clement to her home as a son and assisted in rearing him in the Christian spirit. Clement was so famous because of his virtuous living that he was elected bishop of Ancyra at the age of twenty. In his young years, he attained the wisdom of a mature adult, and by great restraint he tamed and conquered his body. Clement fed on bread and vegetables only and did not eat anything butchered or bloody. During the reign of Diocletian, he was tortured so horribly "as no one ever, since the beginning of the world." He spent twenty-eight years in difficulties and in dungeons. Eleven different torturers tormented and tortured him. At one time, when they struck him in the face, spat upon him and broke his teeth, he cried out to Domentian, his torturer: "You do me great honor, O Domentian, for you are not torturing me, because even the mouth of my Lord Jesus Christ was also beaten and struck in the face and behold, I , the unworthy, now became worthy of that!" When Clement was brought to Rome before Emperor Diocletian, the emperor placed various weapons on one side for torture and on the other side gifts, such as decorations [medals], clothing and money; all that the emperor could bestow, and then he told Clement to choose. The martyr of Christ glanced with scorn at all the emperor's gifts and chose the instruments of torture. Clement was indescribably tortured: piece by piece they removed the flesh from his body so that the white bones showed beneath the flesh. Finally, he was beheaded by a soldier in Ancyra while, as bishop, he was celebrating the Divine Liturgy in church in the year 312 A.D. The miracles of St. Clement are without number.





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