The community of Saint Clement worships among a cloud of witnesses – surrounded by more than one hundred saints whose portraits, mosaics, and statues grace the church.
The saints are usually depicted against a gold background, evoking their place in heavenly glory. Often the image includes an identifiable attribute, an object that represents a particular aspect or unique quality of the person.
Women Saints in Mosaics
Images of eight women saints appear in mosaics with a golden background on the piers that uphold the dome.Agnes: Martyred by the sword in Rome. She holds a lamb.
- Clare: Saved her community from a rampaging army by holding up the Blessed Sacrament.
- Teresa of Jesus (of Avila) Reformer, doctor of the church. She holds a pen and a book with a dove in the background which represents the Holy Spirit, inspiring her writing.
- Rose of Lima: Dominican tertiary, fist Saint of the Americas. She holds the Christ Child.
- Catherine of Siena: Religious, doctor of the church. A visionary, she holds lilies and a cross.
- Barbara: Third century virgin and martyr. She is the patron of architects.
- Mary Magdalene: Apostles to the Apostles. She holds the crown of thorns and a vessel of oil.
- Elizabeth of Hungary: A princess, married, mother and widow. She holds a sheaf of roses.
Saints in Soffits
Portraits of thirty-eight saints, named in Latin, are painted on the undersides or soffits of the arches. These saints are grouped according to the categories the church uses for saints. The Latin name of the category is found in the center medallion followed by the refrain ora pro nobis, pray for us, as in the Litany of the Saints.
Doctors of the Church
Doctors of the church are women and men distinguished by their wisdom, sanctity, and theological learning, captured in their writings. The doctors are depicted in the soffit of the main arch, above the steps to the baptistery.
The center medallion contains the prayer Omnes sancti doctores, orate pro nobis: All you holy doctors, pray for us.
- Gregory of Nazianzus: Fourth-century patriarch of Constantinople.
- John Chrysostom: Patriarch of Constantinople, doctor of the Eastern church.
- Cyprian of Carthage: Third-century bishop, martyr, and theologian.
- Hilary of Poitiers: Bishop and "Doctor of the Divinity of Christ.”
- Basil the Great: Fourth-century bishop of Caesarea.
- Francis de Sales: Bishop and author of Introduction to the Devout Life.
- John Damascene: Priest and monk who defended sacred art.
- Isidore: Archbishop of Seville and author of an encyclopedia entitled Origins.
- Athanasius: Bishop of Alexandria and Greek father of the church.
- Damasus I: Fourth-century bishop of Rome.
- Gregory of Nazianzus
- John Chrysostom
- Cyprian of Carthage
- Basil the Great
- Francis de Sales
- John Damascene
A martyr is a witness to Christ who has died for the faith. The martyrs are depicted in the soffit of the east arch.
The monogram in the center medallion combined with a Greek cross stands for Christ the Conqueror. The Greek letters IC XC stand for Jesus Christ and NIKA is the Greek word for victory. Encircling the medallion is the prayer Omnes sancti martyres, orate pro nobis: All you holy martyrs, pray for us.
- Fortunatus: Deacon, martyred at Smyrna
- Stephen: Deacon, first martyr of the church
- Ignatius of Antioch: First-century bishop and author
- Blase of Sebaste: Fourth-century bishop and physician
- Damian: Third-century physician, twin of Cosmas
- Christopher: Third-century giant whose name means “Christ-bearer”
- Fabian:Third-century pope who organized Rome under seven deacons
- Cosmas:Third-century physician, twin of Damian
- Lawrence: Third-century archdeacon of Pope Sixtus II
- George of Lydda: Fourth-century soldier executed in Palestine
- Blase of Sebaste
- George of Lydda
Confessors did not die for the faith, but in a time of persecution suffered torture, imprisonment, or exile. In time the title was extended to monks, bishops, and teachers who witnessed to the faith through lives of perseverance. In the west arch, we find confessors.
- In the center medallion is the monogram IHS, the first three letters of the name of Jesus in Greek, encircled by the prayer, Omnes sancti confessores, ora pro nobis : All you holy confessors, pray for us. Above is a small cross and below are three nails.
- Nicholas: Bishop of Myra and wonderworker
- Aloysius Gonzaga: Jesuit novice, patron of people with AIDS.
- Louis IX of France: King and Third Order Franciscan
- Anthony of Padua: Franciscan priest and doctor of the church
- Charles Borromeo: Cardinal archbishop and reformer after the Council of Trent
- Vincent de Paul: Priest and founder of the Vincentian Congregation and Daughters of Charity
- Henry II: Holy Roman Emperor and husband
- Jean Marie Baptiste Vianney: Curate of Ars and patron of parish priests
- Edward the Confessor: Peace-loving king of England and husband
- Martin of Tours: Bishop, evangelizer of Gaul, founder of western monasticism
- Aloysius Gonzaga
- Louis IX of France
- Anthony of Padua
- Charles Borromeo
- Vincent de Paul
- Henry II
- Jean Marie Baptiste Vianney
- Edward the Confessor
- Martin of Tours
The title virgin is given to women saints whose lives of dedication were considered a kind of martyrdom. In the south soffit we find the saints categorized as virgins. Women saints who are categorized as doctors of the church, married women, or rulers are depicted elsewhere in the church.
- The monogram for Jesus Christ, Chi Rho with Alpha and Omega, is found in the center medallion, encircled by the prayer, Omnes sanctae virgines, ora pro nobis: All you holy virgins, pray for us.
- Thérèse of the Child Jesus: Doctor of the church, known as the Little Flower
- Joan of Arc: Martyr, patron of France
- Catherine of Alexandria: Martyr, doctor of the church
- Cecilia: Martyr, patron of musicians
- Philomena: Early Christian martyr
- Agatha: Early Christian martyr
- Gertrude of Helfta: Religious and mystic
- Anastasia: Matron and martyr
- Therese of the Child Jesus
- Joan of Arc
- Catherine of Alexandria