ST. ANACLETUS – POPE AND MARTYR
The Liturgical Year
Ven. Abbot Dom Prosper Guéranger, O.S.B.
The name of Anacletus sounds like a lingering echo of the solemnity of June 29th. Linus, Clement, and Cletus, the immediate successors of St. Peter, received from his hands the pontifical consecration; Anacletus had a less but still inestimable glory of being ordained priest by the Vicar of the Man-God. Whereas the feasts of most of the martyr Pontiffs who came after him are only of simple rite, that of Anacletus is a semi-double, because of his privilege of being the last Pope honoured by the imposition of hands of the Prince of the Apostles. It was also during his pontificate that the Eternal City had the glory of receiving within its walls the beloved disciple, who had come to fulfil his promise and drink of his Master’s chalice. O happy Church, exclaims Tertullian, into whose bosom the Apostles poured not only all their teaching, but their very blood; where Peter imitated his Lord’s Passion by dying on the cross; where Paul, like John the Baptist, received his crown by means of the sword; whence the Apostle John, after coming forth safe and sound from the boiling oil, was sent to the isle of his banishment.
By the almighty power of the Spirit of Pentecost, the progress of the faith in Rome was proportionate to the bountiful graces of our Lord. Little by little the great Babylon, drunk with the blood of the martyrs, was being transformed into the Holy City. This new-born race, so full of promise for the future, could already reckon among its members representatives of every class of society. Beside the boiling cauldron where the Prophet of Patmos did homage to the New Jerusalem by offering within her walls his glorious confession, two consuls, one representing the ancient patrician rank, the other the more modern nobility of the Caesars, Acilius Glabrio, and Flavius Clemens, together fell by the sword of martyrdom. Anacletus adorned the tomb of the Prince of the Apostles, and provided a burial-place for the other pontiffs. Following his example, the distinguished families of Rome opened galleries for subterranean cemeteries, all along the roads leading to the imperial city. There rest innumerable soldiers of Christ, victorious by their blood; and there, too, sleep in peace with the anchor of salvation beside them, the most illustrious names of earth.
Anacletus, an Athenian by birth, governed the Church in the days of the Emperor Trajan. He decreed that a bishop should be consecrated by no fewer than three bishops; that clerics should be publicly admitted to Holy Orders, by their own bishop; and that at Mass all should communicate after the Consecration. He adorned the tomb of blessed Peter, and set aside a place for the burial of the Pontiffs. He held two ordinations in the month of December, and made five priests, three deacons, and six bishops. Having sat in St. Peter’s Chair nine years, three months, and ten days, he was crowned with martyrdom and buried on the Vatican.
Glorious Pontiff! thy memory is so closely linked with that of Peter, that many reckon thee under a somewhat different name, among the three august persons raised by the Prince of the Apostles to the highest rank in the hierarchy. Nevertheless, in distinguishing thee from Cletus, who appeared on the sacred cycle in the month of April, we are justified by the authority of the holy Liturgy which appoints thee a separate feast, and by the constant testimony of Rome itself, which knows better than any the names and the history of its pontiffs. Happy art thou in being thus, as it were, lost sight of among the foundations whereon rest for ever the strength and beauty of the Church! Give us all a special love for the particular positions assigned to us in the sacred building. Receive the grateful homage of all the living stones who are chosen to form the eternal temple, and who will all lean upon thee for evermore.
Dumped by Vatican II
In 1960, Pope John XXIII, while keeping the 26 April feast, which mentions the saint under the name given to him in the Canon of the Mass, removed 13 July as a feast day for St. Anacletus.
St. Anacletus, Pope and Martyr
Semi – double
Missa “Si diligis me”
Si díligis Me, Simon Petre, pasce agnos meos, pasce oves meas. Ps. 29: 1 Exaltábo te, Dómine, quóniam suscepísti me, nec delectásti inimícos meos super me. Gloria Patri.
INTROIT – John 21: 15-17
If thou lovest Me, Simon Peter, feed My lambs; feed My sheep.
Psalm: 29: 1
I will extol Thee, O Lord, for Thou hast upheld me: and hast not made my enemies to rejoice over me. Glory be.
O Eternal Shepherd, do Thou look favorably upon Thy flock, which we beseech Thee to guard and keep for evermore through the Blessed Anacletus, Thy Martyr and Supreme Pontiff, whom Thou didst choose to be the chief shepherd of the whole Church. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who livest and reignest with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever.
EPISTLE – 1 Peter 5: 1-4, 10-11
Lesson from the First Book of Peter
Dearly beloved, the ancients therefore that are among you, I beseech , who am myself also am ancient, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ : as also a partaker of that glory which is to be revealed in time to come: feed the flock of God which is among you, taking care of it, not by constraint, but willingly, according to God: not for filthy lucre’s sake, but voluntarily: neither as lording it over the clergy, but being made a pattern of the flock from the heart. And when the prince of pastors shall appear, you shall receive a never fading crown of glory. But the God of all grace, Who hath called us unto His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a little, will himself perfect you, and confirm you, and establish you. To Him be glory and empire for ever and ever. Amen.
GRADUAL – Psalm 106: 32, 31
Let them exalt him in the Church of the people: and praise him in the chair of the ancients. Let the mercies of the Lord give glory to him, and the wonderful works to the children of men.
ALLELUIA – Matthew 16: 18
Alleluia, alleluia. Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church. Alleluia.
GOSPEL – Matthew 16: 13-19
Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. Matthew
At that time, Jesus came into the quarters of Cæsarea Philippi, and He asked His disciples, saying, “Whom do men say that the Son of man is?” But they said, Some, John the Baptist, and other some, Elias, and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. Jesus saith to them, “But whom do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answering, said to him, “Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona, because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but My Father Who is in Heaven: and I say to thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it; and to thee I will give the keys of the kingdom of Heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in Heaven; and whatsoever thou shall loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in Heaven.”
OFFERTORY – Jeremiah 1: 9-10
Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth: See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.
In Thy loving kindness, we beseech Thee, Lord, be moved by the offering of our gifts and enlighten Thy Church: that Thy flock may prosper everywhere and the shepherds, under Thy guidance, may be rendered acceptable to Thee. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever.
PREFACE OF THE APOSTLES
It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, to entreat Thee humbly, O Lord, that Thou wouldst not desert Thy flock, O everlasting Shepherd; but through Thy blessed Apostles, wouldst keep it under Thy constant protection; that it may be governed by those same rulers, whom as vicars of Thy work, Thou didst set over it to be its pastors. And therefore with Angels and Archangels, with Thrones and Dominations, and with all the hosts of the heavenly army, we sing the hymn of Thy glory, evermore saying:
Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus Dóminus Deus Sábaoth. Pleni sunt cæli et terra glória tua. Hosánna in excélsis. Benedíctus qui venit in nómine Dómini. Hosánna in excélsis.
COMMUNION: Matthew 16: 18
Thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Since Thy Church has been nourished by the sacred repast, govern her in Thy clemency, we beseech Thee, O Lord, so that under the guidance of Thy mighty rule she may enjoy greater freedom and abiding integrity of religion. Through our Lord.