23rd February Saint Polycarp

St. Polycarp

He lived in the antiquity and was said to have born in the year 69 A.D. As per Tertullian, Polycarp was a disciple of John the Apostle, the author of the Gospel according to John. Apostle John converted Polycarp to Christianity and ordained him as the bishop of Smyrna. Polycarp was in communion with the Apostles and others who have seen and talked with Jesus. Irenaeus also reported that he heard Polycarp speak, when he was young. Polycarp followed the eastern practice of celebrating Passover on the 14th Nissan, the day of Jewish Passover regardless of what day of the week it falls. He died a martyr’s death. Polycarp died on a Saturday February 23, probably in the year 155 or 156 A.D. during the Pro-Consulship of Statius Quadratus. He was bound in a stake and was set fire. But the fire did not touch him. So the guards killed him by stabbing with spear. He was killed for his refusal to burn incense to the image of the Roman Emperor. He told them that he served God for 86 year and as such he could not serve the Emperor.

PRAYER IN HONOUR OF ST POLYCARP

God of all creation,
who were pleased to give the Bishop Saint Polycarp
a place in the company of the Martyrs,
grant, through his intercession,
that, sharing with him in the chalice of Christ,
we may rise through the Holy Spirit to eternal life.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.
Amen.

Dying Prayer of Polycarp, the Martyr

Lord, almighty God, Father of your beloved and blessed Son Jesus Christ, through whom we have come to the knowledge of yourself, God of angels, of powers, of all creation, of all the race of saints who live in your sight, I bless you for judging me worthy of this day, this hour, so that in the company of the martyrs I may share the cup of Christ, your anointed one, and so rise again to eternal life in soul and body, immortal through the power of the Holy Spirit. May I be received among the martyrs in your presence today as a rich and pleasing sacrifice. God of truth, stranger to falsehood, you have prepared this and revealed it to me and now you have fulfilled your promise.

I praise you for all things, I bless you, I glorify you through the eternal priest of heaven, Jesus Christ, your beloved Son. Through him be glory to you, together with him and the Holy Spirit, now and forever.
Amen.

Prayer of Intercession Written by St. Polycarp

May God the Father,
and the eternal High Priest Jesus Christ,
build us up in faith and truth and love,
and grant us our portion among the saints
with all those who believe on our Lord Jesus Christ.
We pray for all saints,
for kings and rulers,
for the enemies of the Cross of Christ,
and for ourselves,
we pray that our fruit may abound
and that we may be made perfect in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Amen.

NOVENA TO SAINT POLYCARP OF SMYRNA

Grant to us, O Master of all, O Lord our God,
the power to entreat Your healer,
the Hieromartyr Polycarp the wondrous.
O Saint Polycarp, the protector of our hearts,
come speedily near us,
free the precious member of your body
from the hands of the unrighteous,
lawless, wicked and impious,
and dwell newly among us,
who love you with our whole heart.
You, after God, are our Father
and we are your children.
We behold your dwelling-place empty,
but adorned with our love
and washed with our tears.
Come, our consolation,
our trainer and our benefactor.
O Lord Jesus Christ,
the Son of the Living God,
through the intercessions of Your Most-Holy Mother,
and the entreaties of the holy Hieromartyr Polycarp,
soften the pains of our soul,
take away our pain and fulfil our desire,
that we might newly behold the right hand of Your Saint,
awesome in battle and gladsome to his friends.
For Yours is the glory and the honor and the worship,
together with Your Beginningless Father,
and Your All-Holy and Good and Life-giving Spirit,
now and ever and to the ages of ages.
Amen.

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