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Saint Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, Martyr

The Martyrdom of Saint Polycarp

The Martyrdom of Saint Polycarp, by Niccolo Circignani (“Il Pomarancio”) (c. 1517/1524—after 1596).

O God, the maker of heaven and earth, who didst give to thy venerable servant, the holy and gentle Polycarp, boldness to confess Jesus Christ as King and Saviour, and stedfastness to die for his faith: Give us grace, after his example, to share the cup of Christ and rise to eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with the and the Holy Ghost, one God, now and forever. Amen.

¶ Or this:

Fulfil our petitions, O Lord, we beseech the, and receive us as a whole–burnt–offering acceptable unto thee, together with the blessed Polycarp thy Martyr and Bishop, whose passion this day we commemorate; in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

¶ Or this:

O Lord God, who failest none that hath his strength from thee: Grant us, after the pattern of thy holy Martyr Polycarp, the faith that shall serve thee in tranquil days and fail not at the last; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

February 23 is the date of Polycarp’s death, according to Eusebius. However, January 26 seems to have been the date of his earliest commemoration. (Butler lists January 26 as his commemoration, even while listing February 23 as his dies natalis.)

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