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.

Presidents’ Day

[public domain]

United States Capitol, Washington, D.C., Print by Currier and Ives, 1872-1874

Prayer for Society
By Pope John XXIII

O Jesus, come back into our society,
our family life, our souls
and reign there as our peaceful sovereign.
Enlighten with the splendor of faith
and the charity of your tender heart
the souls of those who work
for the good of the people, for your poor.
Impart in them your own spirit,
a spirit of discipline, order and gentleness,
preserving the flame of enthusiasm
ever alight in their hearts.
May that day come very soon,
when we shall see you
restored to the center of civic life,
borne on the shoulders of your joyful people.
Amen.

Our Lady of Lourdes

[public domain]

Prayer to Our Lady of Lourdes
by St. John Paul II

Hail Mary, Poor and Humble Woman,
Blessed by the Most High!
Virgin of hope, dawn of a new era,
we join in your song of praise,
to celebrate the Lord’s mercy,
to proclaim the coming of the Kingdom
and the full liberation of humanity.

Hail Mary, Lowly Handmaid of the Lord,
Glorious Mother of Christ!
Faithful Virgin, holy dwelling-place of the Word,
teach us to persevere in listening to the Word,
and to be docile to the voice of the Spirit,
attentive to his promptings
in the depths of our conscience
and to his manifestations in the events of history.

Hail Mary, Woman of Sorrows,
Mother of the Living!
Virgin spouse beneath the Cross, the new Eve,
be our guide along the paths of the world.
Teach us to experience and to spread the love of Christ,
to stand with you before the innumerable crosses
on which your Son is still crucified.

Hail Mary, Woman of Faith,
First of the Disciples!
Virgin Mother of the Church,
help us always to account for the hope that is in us,
with the trust in human goodness and the Father’s love.
Teach us to build up the world beginning from within:
in the depths of silence and prayer,
in the joy of fraternal love,
in the unique fruitfulness of the Cross.

Hail Mary, Mother of Believers,
Our Lady of Lourdes,
pray for us.

Amen.