Universalis
Thursday 23 February 2017    (other days)
Saint Polycarp, Bishop, Martyr 
 (Thursday after Sexagesima)

The Lord is the king of martyrs: come, let us adore him

Year: A(I). Psalm week: 3. Liturgical Colour: Red.

St Polycarp (- 155)
He was a disciple of the Apostles, bishop of Smyrna, and a friend of St Ignatius of Antioch. He went to Rome to confer with Pope Anicetus about the celebration of Easter. He was martyred in about 155 by being burnt to death in the stadium. Polycarp is an important figure in the history of the Church because he is one of the earliest Christians whose writings still survive. He bears witness to the beliefs of the early Christians and the early stages of the development of doctrine. See the articles in Wikipedia and the Catholic Encyclopaedia.

Liturgical colour: red
Red is the colour of fire and of blood. Liturgically, it is used to celebrate the fire of the Holy Spirit (for instance, at Pentecost) and the blood of the martyrs.

Mid-morning reading (Terce)Wisdom 19:22 ©
Lord, in every way you have made your people great and glorious. You have never disdained them, but stood by them always and everywhere.

Noon reading (Sext)Deuteronomy 4:7 ©
What great nation is there that has its gods so near as the Lord our God is to us whenever we call to him?

Afternoon reading (None)Esther 10:3 ©
The single nation, mine, is Israel, those who cried out to God and were saved. Yes, the Lord has saved his people, the Lord has delivered us from all these evils, God has worked such signs and great wonders as have never happened among the nations.

Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd and Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc, and used by permission of the publishers. For on-line information about other Random House, Inc. books and authors, see the Internet web site at http://www.randomhouse.com.
 
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