On February 23, the Church celebrates the Memorial of Saint Polycarp of Smyrna. St. Polycarp does not have an official patronage, but he is a great saint to seek intercession from in many circumstances. You can ask St. Polycarp to pray for you if you are facing persecution for your Faith, since he endured persecution for his Faith and was ultimately martyred. Or you can ask him to pray for someone you know who is suffering persecution for their Faith. St. Polycarp is also a great saint to seek intercession from on behalf of Church leaders, since he was a holy bishop who did a lot to combat heresy and to lead the Church well.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.
O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.
Great martyr, Saint Polycarp, make us steadfast witnesses to the truth in word and deed, just as you witnessed to the truth in your own life and death. Through your intercession, make our commitment to our religion of long duration, a life project, enduring until our life of faith concludes with a death of faith. As we devote ourselves to you in this period of nine days, hear the humble prayers we make before God and intercede for us in order that we become beneficiaries of the heavenly graces especially in this particular need(s) (state your intentions). Grant this, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
MEDITATION: EPISTLE TO THE PHILIPPIANS
(Polycarp wrote some epistles, among which are to the Philippians. We shall examine this epistle in the course of our meditation. The epistle resembles that of Saint Paul in style and content, a proof that he heard the preachings of the Apostles of Christ)
(GREETINGS, CHAPTERS 1&2)
Polycarp, and the presbyters with him, to the Church of God Sojourning at Philippi: Mercy to you, and peace from God Almighty, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, our Saviour, be multiplied.
Chapter 1. Praise of the Philippians
I have greatly rejoiced with you in our Lord Jesus Christ, because you have followed the example of true love [as displayed by God], and have accompanied, as became you, those who were bound in chains, the fitting ornaments of saints, and which are indeed the diadems of the true elect of God and our Lord; and because the strong root of your faith, spoken of in days long gone by, endures even until now, and brings forth fruit to our Lord Jesus Christ, who for our sins suffered even unto death, [but] whom God raised from the dead, having loosed the bands of the grave. In whom, though now you see Him not, you believe, and believing, rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory; into which joy many desire to enter, knowing that by grace you are saved, not of works, but by the will of God through Jesus Christ.
Chapter 2. An exhortation to virtue
Wherefore, girding up your loins, serve the Lord in fear and truth, as those who have forsaken the vain, empty talk and error of the multitude, and believed in Him who raised up our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead, and gave Him glory, and a throne at His right hand. To Him all things; in heaven and on earth are subject. Him every spirit serves. He comes as the Judge of the living and the dead. His blood will God require of those who do not believe in Him. But He who raised Him up from the dead will raise up us also, if we do His will, and walk in His commandments, and love what He loved, keeping ourselves from all unrighteousness, covetousness, love of money, evil speaking, falsewitness; not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing, or blow for blow, or cursing for cursing, but being mindful of what the Lord said in His teaching: Judge not, that you be not judged; forgive, and it shall be forgiven unto you; be merciful, that you may obtain mercy; with what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you again; and once more, Blessed are the poor, and those that are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of God.
CONCLUDING PRAYER – DAY 2
When many heresies began to flourish, you worked to preserve the unity of teaching in the Church and worked diligently to preach the truth. Pray for me, that I may always be eager to preach the Gospel to others in my life. Pray that I may always do all I can to bring others to God.
Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory be…
Through the intercession of Saint Polycarp of Smyrna, may Almighty God bless you + the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Compiled by Fr. Chinaka Justin Mbaeri, OSJ
Paroquia Nossa Senhora da Immaculada Conceição, Paulo Ramos, Maranhão, Brazil
email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
PS: Have you prayed your Rosary today?