English form of the Late Latin name Clemens
(or sometimes of its derivative Clementius
) which meant "merciful, gentle". This was the name of 14 popes, including Saint
Clement I, the third pope, one of the Apostolic Fathers. Another saint by this name was Clement of Alexandria, a 3rd-century theologian and church father who attempted to reconcile Christian and Platonic philosophies. It has been in general as a given name in Christian Europe (in various spellings) since early times. In England it became rare after the Protestant Reformation
, though it was revived in the 19th century.