Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Prayer of St. Polycarp

In the Encyclical Epistle of the Church at Smyrna Concerning the Martyrdom of the Holy Polycarp we find the prayer of Polycarp (Chapter XIV), which the saint said just before his burning. It makes us all think, however, how would we react if we were in his place? Would we plea for our life, would we blame our killers, or our God? The last thing most of us would do would be to praise our Creator. St. Polycarp gives us a beautiful prayer:

“O Lord God Almighty, the Father of thy beloved and blesses Son Jesus Christ, by whom we have received the knowledge of Thee, the God of angels and powers, and of every creature, and of the whole race of the righteous who live before thee, I give Thee thanks that Thou hast counted me, worthy of this day and this hour, that I should have a part in the number of Thy martyrs, in the cup of thy Christ, to the resurrection of eternal life, both of soul and body, through the incorruption (imparted) by the Holy Ghost. Among whom may I be accepted this day before Thee as a fat and acceptable sacrifice, according as Thou, the ever-truthful God, hast foreordained, hast revealed beforehand to me, and now hast fulfilled. Wherefore also I praise Thee for all things, I bless Thee, I glorify Thee, along with the everlasting and heavenly Jesus Christ, Thy beloved Son, with whom, to Thee, and the Holy Ghost, be glory both now and to all coming ages. Amen”.     

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