Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord

[public domain]

The Annunciation, by Carl Heinrich Bloch, 1890

And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.

And the angel came in unto her, and said,
Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.

And the angel said unto her,
Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?

And the angel answered and said unto her,
The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible.

And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.
And the angel departed from her.

Luke 1:26-38

Saint Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick

Prayer for the Faithful
By St. Patrick

May the Strength of God guide us.
May the Power of God preserve us.
May the Wisdom of God instruct us.
May the Hand of God protect us.
May the Way of God direct us.
May the Shield of God defend us.
May the Angels of God guard us.
– Against the snares of the evil one.

May Christ be with us!
May Christ be before us!
May Christ be in us,
Christ be over all!

May Thy Grace, Lord, Always be ours,
This day, O Lord, and forevermore.

Amen.

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.