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Saint Anacletus
Papacy began circa 79
Papacy ended circa 92
Predecessor Linus
Successor Clement I
Personal details
Birth name Anacletus, Anencletus or Cletus
Born Unknown
Rome, Italy
Died circa 92
Rome, Italy
Feast day April 26
Papal styles of
Pope Anacletus

Emblem of the Papacy SE.svg

Reference style His Holiness
Spoken style Your Holiness
Religious style Holy Father
Posthumous style Saint

Pope Saint Anacletus (very rarely written as Anencletus), probably identical with Pope Cletus, was the third Roman Pope (after St. Peter and St. Linus).

The February 14, 1961 Instruction of the Congregation for Rites on the application to local calendars of Pope John XXIII's motu proprio Rubricarum instructum of July 25, 1960 decreed that "the feast of 'Saint Anacletus', on whatever ground and in whatever grade it is celebrated, is transferred to April 26, under its right name, 'Saint Cletus'. The Roman Martyrology mentions the Pope in question only under the name of "Cletus".[1] The Annuario Pontificio gives both forms, as alternatives. Eusebius, Saint Irenaeus, Saint Augustine and Optatus all suggest that both names refer to the same individual. On the other hand, the Liberian Catalogue and the Liber Pontificalis both state that Anacletus and Cletus are two different persons.

The name "Cletus" in Ancient Greek means "one who has been called", and "Anacletus" means "one who has been called back".

St Cletus/Anacletus was traditionally said to have been a Roman, and to have been pope for twelve years. The Annuario Pontificio states: "For the first two centuries, the dates of the start and the end of the pontificate are uncertain." It gives the years 80 to 92 as the reign of Pope Cletus/Anacletus. Other sources give the years 77 to 88.

Tradition has it that this Pope divided Rome into twenty-five parishes. One of the few surviving records concerning his papacy mentions him as having ordained an uncertain number of priests.[2]

He was buried next to his predecessor, Saint Linus, in St. Peter's Basilica, in what is now Vatican City.[3] His name (as Cletus) is included in the Roman Canon of the Mass.

The Tridentine Calendar had on April 26 the feast day of Saint Cletus, honoured jointly with Saint Marcellinus, and on July 13 the feast day of Saint Anacletus. In 1960, Pope John XXIII, while keeping the April 26 feast, which mentions the saint under the name given him in the Canon of the Mass, removed that of July 13. Use of this 1960 calendar, which is included in the 1962 edition of the Roman Missal, continues to be authorized under the conditions indicated in the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum; but the April 26 feast also has been removed from the General Roman Calendar since 1969.


  1. ^ "Martyrologium Romanum" (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2001 ISBN 88-209-7210-7)
  2. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg "Pope St. Anacletus" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
  3. ^ Find-a-Grave


  • Donald Attwater and Catherine Rachel John, "The Penguin Dictionary of Saints," 3rd edition, New York: Penguin Books, 1993. ISBN 0-140-51312-4.
  • Louise Ropes Loomis, "The Book of Popes" (Liber Pontificalis). Merchantville, NJ: Evolution Publishing. ISBN 1-889758-86-8 (Reprint of the 1916 edition. (Ends with Pope Pelagius, who reigned from 579 until 590. English translation with scholarly footnotes, and illustrations).
  • Richard P. McBrien, "Lives of the Popes," (Harper, 2000). ISBN 0-06-065304-3
  • This article incorporates text from the entry Pope St. Anacletus in the public-domain Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913.

External links

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Bishop of Rome

Succeeded by
Clement I


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