Anacletus (Cletus), St. Pope

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Pontificate, c. 80 to 92. Anacletus appears in the Liber pontificalis and the Roman martyrology as two popes, both martyrs, with feasts on April 26 and July 13. St. Irenaeus (Adv. haer. 3.3) and the liturgy of the Mass make him the second successor of Peter. The Greek form of his name, Anencletus, was common for slaves and may point to his social status. The third form of his name Cletus, was simply a shortened form of the other two but is the one found in the ancient canon of the mass. (see popes, list of). Eusebius (Hist. 3.13, 15, 21; 5.6) says that he died in the 12th year of Domitian's reign after a 12-year episcopate. The Liber pontificalis probably mistakes Anacletus for anicetus as the builder of a burial monument for Peter. Modern excavations show that Anacletus was not buried near Peter in the Vatican.

Bibliography: Liber pontificalis, ed. l. duchesne (Paris 188692) 1:xixxx, 5253. j. p. kirsch, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques 2:140708. e. caspar, Geschichte de Papsttums von den Anfängen bis zur Höhe der Weltherrschaft (Tübingen 193033) 1:816. l. koep, Reallexikon für Antike Christentum, ed. t. klauser [Stuttgart 1941 (1950)] 2: 410415. e. kirschbaum, Tombs of St. Peter and St. Paul, tr. j. murray (New York 1959). g. schwaiger, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner (Freiberg 195765) 1:524. j. n. d. kelly, Oxford Dictionary of Popes, p.7

[e. g. weltin]