Anacletus (or Anencletus), was the third Bishop (after St Peter and St Linus). His name, which is Greek, signifies one who has been "called back" to service. He may have been the same person as Cletus. Eusebius, Irenaeus, 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 different persons.

He is traditionally cited as having been a Roman citizen, and is said to have been pope for twelve years, from 77 to 89, when he allegedly died as a martyr. However, the Vatican's 2003 Annuario Pontificio gives his dates as 80 to 92. Tradition further has it that he divided Rome into 25 parishes.

One of the few surviving records concerning Anacletus' papacy mention him having ordained an uncertain number of priests.


Richard P. McBrien, Lives of the Popes (Harper, 2000). ISBN 0-06-065304-3

"Pope St. Anacletus" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.

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