Rev. Alban Butler (171173). Volume VII: July. The Lives of the Saints. 1866.
St. Anacletus, Pope and Martyr
HE governed the church after St. Clement nine years and three months, according to the Liberian pontifical, and according to another very old Vatican manuscript register; but according to some later pontificals, twelve years and three months. He perhaps sat three years as vicar to St. Clement during his banishment, says Berti.1 Trajan raised the third persecution against the church whilst he was in the east in 107. In those difficult times St. Anacletus suffered much, and is styled a martyr in very ancient martyrologies.
Note 1. The exact number of years that some of the popes sat before Victor in the year 200, cannot be determined with any degree of certainty, partly on account of faults of copies and the disagreement of later pontificals.(See Pagi, the Bollandists, Tillemont, Orsi, Berti, &c.) St. Peter sat twenty-five years: St. Linus seems to have held the see about eleven years, St. Cletus twelve years, St. Clement about eleven years, and St. Anacletus nine, dying about the year 109. The tradition and registers of the Roman church show Anacletus and Cletus to have been two distinct popes, as is manifest from the Liberian Calendar and several very ancient lists of the first popes quoted by Schelstrate (Diss. 2, Ant. Eccl. c. 2.) and the Bollandists (ad 20 Apr.) from the old poem among the works of Tertullian, written about the time that he lived; from the very ancient Antiphonaries of the Vatican church, published by cardinal Joseph Thomasius, and the old Martyrology which bore the name of St. Jerom, and was printed at Lucca by the care of Francis-Maria-Florentinius, a gentleman of that city; which original authorities were followed by Ado, Usuard, &c. The pontificals call Cletus a Roman by birth, Anacletus a Grecian, and native of Athens. [back]