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 7. Avoid the Docetæ, and persevere in fasting and prayer
For whosoever does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh, is antichrist; and whosoever does not confess the testimony of the cross, is of the devil; and whosoever perverts the oracles of the Lord to his own lusts and says that there is neither a resurrection nor a judgment, he is the firstborn of Satan. Wherefore, forsaking the vanity of many, and their false doctrines, let us return to the word which has been handed down to us from the beginning; watching unto prayer, and persevering in fasting; beseeching in our supplications the allseeing God not to lead us into temptation, as the Lord has said: The spirit truly is willing, but the flesh is weak.
Chapter 8. Persevere in hope and patience
Let us then continually persevere in our hope, and the earnest of our righteousness, which is Jesus Christ, who bore our sins in His own body on the tree, who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth, but endured all things for us, that we might live in Him. Let us then be imitators of His patience; and if we suffer for His name’s sake, let us glorify Him. For He has set us this example in Himself, and we have believed that such is the case.
CONCLUDING PRAYER – DAY 5
St. Polycarp, you lived in a society that was hostile to the Christian Faith. Many were being killed for their Faith, but you courageously continued serving God and His Church. You did not seek out martyrdom, but you calmly accepted many sufferings for your Faith. You submitted yourself to God’s will for you, and you ultimately gave up your life for the Faith in a painful martyrdom. Pray for me, that I may never allow difficulties to deter me from serving God. Pray that I may endure all trials willingly out of love for 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?