A Prayer & a Pickaxe (A Legend About St. Clement of Rome)


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The legend of St. Clement is an exciting one. One of the first bishops of the Church, he was arrested under the emperor for not acknowledging Roman gods, and sentenced to hard labor in a quarry, chipping out stone. He prayed for relief for his fellow-prisoners, and a vision of the Lamb of God directed him to open a nearby hillside with his pickaxe. When he did, water gushed forth from the ground.

Retold here by Pamela Love, award-winning author of Brigid and the Butter, A Staircase for the Sisters, and The Sword and the Cape, this latest edition of Pauline’s Tales and Legends Series teaches children ages six to eight about faith, bravery, self-sacrifice, and perseverance. Clement’s story is filled with miracles, the power of prayer, and faith that prayers are heard and answered. It provides children with an example of being in a difficult situation and not losing hope, of praying for help, and of reaching out through their own pain to help others.

One of the first popes and a Church Father, St. Clement lived in difficult times, responding to pressure and danger with calm and faith. His name, recited in the Eucharistic prayer, invites young readers of this book to listen for him at Mass and encourages them to pray to him.

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