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Saint Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna and a disciple of the apostles, was burned at the stake about the year 155. His feast day is February 23. This is the prayer he prayed before he died:

Lord, almighty God, Father of your beloved and blessed Son Jesus Christ, through whom we have come to the knowledge of yourself, God of angels, of powers, of all creation, of all the race of saints who live in your sight, I bless you for judging me worthy of this day, this hour, so that in the company of the martyrs I may share the cup of Christ, your annointed one, and so rise again to eternal life in soul and body, immortal through the power of the Holy Spirit. May I be received among the martyrs in your presence today as a rich and pleasing sacrifice. God of truth, stranger to falsehood, you have prepared this and revealed it to me and now you have fulfilled your promise.

I praise you for all things, I bless you, I glorify you through the eternal priest of heaven, Jesus Christ, your beloved Son. Through him be glory to you, together with him and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.

Here is a prayer the Church prays concerning Saint Polycarp:

God of all creation,
you gave your bishop Polycarp the privilege of being counted among the saints who gave their lives in faithful witness to the gospel.

May his prayers give us the courage to share with him the cup of suffering and to rise to eternal glory. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.


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The Universal Prayer (attributed to Pope Clement Xi)

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