Saint Polycarp

[public domain]

Saint Polycarp, hegumen of Kyiv Caves Monastery, Ukraine (d. 1182)

Prayer of St. Polycarp of Smyrna
Before His Martyrdom

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 anointed 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.

Feast of the Chair of St. Peter the Apostle

[public domain]

The Sacrament of Ordination (Christ Presenting the Keys to Saint Peter), by Nicolas Poussin, 1636-40

When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?  And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?  And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Matthew 16:13-19