Solemnity of Saint Joseph

[public domain]

The Holy Family, by Rafael Flores, 1857

Prayer to Saint Joseph
By Pope Leo XIII

To thee do we cry in our tribulations,
O Blessed Saint Joseph,
as we confidently invoke your patronage,
after that of your most holy spouse,
the Blessed Virgin Mary.

By that sacred bond of devotion
which linked you to the Immaculate Virgin, Mother of God,
and for the fatherly love you lavished on the child Jesus,
we beg you to cast a glance on those heavenly gifts
which the Divine Redeemer has obtained for all mankind
through His Precious Blood
and through your power and mercy,
help us in our needs.

O holy protector of the holy family,
protect us children of the Lord Jesus Christ;
keep far from us the errors and evils
which corrupt the world;
assist us from Heaven in our struggles
against the powers of darkness.
And as you once protected the Divine Child
from the cruel edict of Herod,
now defend the church
and keep it safe from all dangers and threats;
spread over all of us your holy patronage
so that by following your example
and aided by your spiritual guidance,
we may all aspire to a virtuous life,
look to a holy death and secure for ourselves
the blessing of eternal happiness in Heaven.


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.

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