Lent Madness: Clement of Alexandria vs. Vincent

We’re going old school with this matchup between Clement of Alexandria and Vincent (of Saragossa). At least old school in that we’re headed back to the age of persecution.

In by far the closest matchup of Lent Madness 2011 so far, Justin Martyr edged John Keble 50.65% to 49.35% and will face Polycarp in the Second Round. Think your vote doesn’t count in the grand scheme of things? Justin won by the thinnest of margins — two votes! Click Lent Madness 2011 to view the updated tournament bracket.

Clement of Alexandria (150-215), an Early Church Father, was a theologian who blended Greek philosophy with Christianity. The head of the noted Catechetical School in Alexandria, he is also remembered as the teacher of Origen who succeeded him in this position.

Clement is identified with what became known as Platonic Christianity which proclaimed the the goal of the Christian life as deification. This deification was based upon Platonism’s assimilation into God and the Biblical concept of the imitation of God. Clement’s significance to the Church is that he began to move Christian theology away from apologetics (defense of the faith) toward a more systematic “scientific” approach.

While much of his writing is quite complex and philosophical, here’s one concrete fact about Clement: he was a vegetarian. Furthermore, he claimed that the apostles Peter, Matthew, and James the Just were also vegetarians.

Collect for Clement of Alexandria O Lord, who called your servant Clement of Alexandria from the errors of ancient philosophy that he might learn and teach the saving Gospel of Christ: Turn your Church from the conceits of worldly wisdom and, by the Spirit of truth, guide it into all truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Vincent was a Spanish deacon who was martyred in 304. That’s about all we know for sure about this saint. It is said that amid a wave of persecution, he was arrested and tried with his bishop Valerius or Saragossa. As Valerius had a speech impediment, Vincent spoke for both and his strong conviction and lack of fear so angered the authorities that he was tortured and killed while his elderly bishop was only exiled. 

According to tradition Vincent was subjected to musch cruelty, enduring the rack, the gridiron, and scourgings. After he died in prison, his body was tossed outside to be devoured by vultures, but was instead defended by a raven. The emperor then had his body thrown into the sea but it came to shore and was buried by a pious widow.

Collect for Vincent  Almighty God, whose deacon Vincent, upheld by you, was not terrified by threats nor overcome by torments: Strengthen us to endure all adversity with invincible and steadfast faith; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.



2 Comments on “Lent Madness: Clement of Alexandria vs. Vincent”

  1. Bob Chapman says:

    Anyone who has the Creator for a protector–the Raven–gets my vote. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raven_in_mythology

    Then there is the crossier of Bishop Nedi Rivera, retired Bishop Suffragan of Olympia. This video shows said crossier (with me in a supporting role as Bishop’s Chaplain).

    Don’t be tricked. Vote for the one protected by a Raven.

  2. Tony Hunt says:

    But for Clement we would have no Origen! The decision is clear.

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