Sts Cletus and Marcellinus, Popes and Martyrs; [Memorial: April 26]
Cletus, a Roman, governed the Church when Vespian and Titus were emperors. By order of the Prince of the Apostles he ordained twenty-five priests in the City. He was the first who used the salutation in his letters: “Health and Apostolic benediction.” He put the Church in admirable order and, while Domitian was emperor, in the second persecution after that of Nero, he was crowned with martyrdom and was buried in the Vatican, near the body of St Peter.
Marcellinus, a Roman, ruled the Church in the frightful persecution of the Emperor Diocletian. He suffered many hardships from the unjust severity of those who reproached him. This blessed Pope was beheaded for confessing the faith, together with three other Christians, Claudius, Cyrinus and Antonius.
Eternal Shepherd, look with favour upon your flock. Shelter and safeguard it for evermore through blessed Cletus and Marcellinus, Martyrs and Supreme Pontiffs, whom you constituted shepherds of the whole Church. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964