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)
Chapter 3. Expression of personal unworthiness
These things, brethren, I write to you concerning righteousness, not because I take anything upon myself, but because you have invited me to do so. For neither I, nor any other such one, can come up to the wisdom of the blessed and glorified Paul. He, when among you, accurately and steadfastly taught the word of truth in the presence of those who were then alive. And when absent from you, he wrote you a letter, which, if you carefully study, you will find to be the means of building you up in that faith which has been given you, and which, being followed by hope, and preceded by love towards God, and Christ, and our neighbour, is the mother of us all. For if anyone be inwardly possessed of these graces, he has fulfilled the command of righteousness, since he that has love is far from all sin.
Chapter 4. Various exhortations
But the love of money is the root of all evils. Knowing, therefore, that as we brought nothing into the world, so we can carry nothing out, let us arm ourselves with the armour of righteousness; and let us teach, first of all, ourselves to walk in the commandments of the Lord. Next, [teach] your wives [to walk] in the faith given to them, and in love and purity tenderly loving their own husbands in all truth, and loving all [others] equally in all chastity; and to train up their children in the knowledge and fear of God. Teach the widows to be discreet and respect the faith of the Lord, praying continually for all, being far from all slandering, evilspeaking, falsewitnessing, love of money, and every kind of evil; knowing that they are the altar of God, that He clearly perceives all things, and that nothing is hidden from Him, neither reasonings, nor reflections, nor any one of the secret things of the heart.
CONCLUDING PRAYER – DAY 3
St. Polycarp, you chose to become a Christian when you heard the preaching of Christ’s Apostles. You devoted yourself wholeheartedly to serving God and His Church by becoming a bishop. As a bishop in the early Church, you faced many difficulties as debates and heresies began to spring up in the Church. You did all you could to lead your people in the truth, amidst the trials of persecution by the secular government. Pray for me, that I may be eager to serve God and His Church in any way that I can. Pray that I may grow in holiness and devotion to God each day.
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
firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
PS: Have you prayed your Rosary today?