This blog contains regular postings relating to the Traditional Latin Liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church. It includes regular commentary on the saints days and the liturgical cycle, with brief background and extracts from the liturgy both in Latin and English. Much of the material has been extracted from the 'St Andrew's Daily Missal', Dom Gueranger's 'Liturgical Year', or similar sources.

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Thursday, 26 January 2017

26th January, St Polycarp, Bishop and Martyr

St Polycarp, Bishop and Martyr

St. Polycarp, a disciple of St. John, was by him invested with full sacerdotal powers (Introit) and made bishop of Smyrna. In a letter he writes to the Philippians, he quotes the first Epistle of his master, of which a passage is read in to-day's liturgy. "Whoever," he declares after St. John, "does not confess that Christ has come in the flesh is an antichrist." He claims for Jesus the reality of His quality of Son of God against the heretics of his day who affirmed that the Incarnation of the word was only a semblance. One day when the heretic Marcion asked him if he was known to him, the holy bishop replied "that he knew him as the eldest son of Satan". And to-day's Epistle enables us to distinguish "the sons of God from those who are the sons of Satan". Those who, like Christ, love their brethren, and, like Him, give their lives for them, are of God. That is what St. Polycarp will do. Martyred in the persecution under Commodus, he bore testimony to Christ (Gospel). He was burned in the middle of the amphitheatre and then struck with the sword, in the year 166. He was 86 years old.

Like Polycarp (which name signifies much fruit) let us produce much fruit by loving our neighbour for Jesus's sake.

Sacerdotes tui, Domine, induant justitiam, et sancti tui exsultent: propter David servum tuum, non avertas faciem Christi tui. * Memento, Domine, David et omnis mansuetudinis ejus.
Let Thy priests, O Lord, be clothed with justice, and let Thy saints rejoice: for thy servant David's sake, turn not away the face of Thy anointed. * O Lord, remember David and all his meekness.
(Psalm 131:9-10,1 from the Introit of Mass)

Deus, qui nos beáti Polycarpi Martyris tui atque Pontíficis ánnua sollemnitáte laetíficas: concéde propítius; ut, cujus natalítia cólimus, de ejúsdem étiam protectióne gaudeámus.
O God, who givest us joy by the annual solemnity of blessed Polycarp thy martyr and bishop, mercifully grant that we may rejoice in his protection whose birthday we celebrate.

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