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Saturday, February 23, 2013

CATHOLIC NEWS WORLD : SAT. FEB. 23, 2013












VATICAN : POPE : FULL TEXT ADDRESS - ART OF PRAYING

ASIA : PHILIPPINES : CARDINAL TAGLE SEEN AS POSSIBLE FOR POPE

TODAY'S SAINT : FEB. 23 : ST. POLYCARP

Vatican Radio REPORT -  Pope Benedict on Saturday concluded the “spiritual exercises” which mark the beginning of Lent at the Vatican. 

This year’s reflections were offered by Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture. 

At the end of the retreat, Pope Benedict addressed those who had participated with him in the Lenten retreat. Taking his cue from Cardinal Ravasi’s theme “the art of believing, the art of praying,” Pope Benedict reflected on the relationship of beauty to the truth. “Truth and beauty,” he said, “go together: beauty is the seal of truth.”

Nonetheless, the Holy Father said, we recognise that the goodness of Creation is permanently contradicted by evil in the world. “Evil,” he said, “always desires to spoil creation, to contradict God, and to make truth and beauty unrecognisable.” But it is precisely into this world, marked by evil, that the Incarnate Logos enters, crowned with thorns, so that, “in the suffering figure of the Son of God, we can begin to see the most profound beauty of our Creator and Redeemer. In the silence of the ‘dark night,’ we can nevertheless hear the Word.”

At the conclusion of his remarks, Pope Benedict expressed his gratitude, not only to those who had joined him in the spiritual exercises, but to all those who, as he said, “have borne with me the weight of the Petrine ministry with great skill, with affection, with love, and with faith.” This gratitude, he said, “will remain with me. And even if this visible exterior communion is now ending,” he continued, “the spiritual closeness, a deep communion in prayer, remains. In this certainty let us go forward, confident in the victory of God, sure of the truth, of beauty, and of love.”


Below, please find the full text, in translation, of Pope Benedict’s remarks: 
At the end of this very spiritually intense week, only one word remains: Thank you! Thank you for this community of prayerful listening, that has accompanied me. Thank you, above all, to your Eminence for these beautiful "walks," in the world of faith, the world of the Psalms. We were amazed by the richness, the depth, the beauty of this universe of faith and we are grateful for the Word of God that you have spoken to us in a new way, with new strength.

"The art of believing, the art of praying" was the theme. I was reminded of the fact that the medieval theologians translated the word "Logos" not only as "Verbum", but also as "ars": "Verbum" and "ars" are interchangeable. For the medieval theologians, it was only with the two words together that the whole meaning of the word “Logos” appeared. The "Logos" is not just a mathematical reason: the "Logos" has a heart, the "Logos" is also love. The truth is beautiful and the true and beautiful go together: beauty is the seal of truth.

And yet, starting from the Psalms and from our everyday experience, you have also strongly emphasized that the "very good" of the sixth day - expressed by the Creator - is permanently contradicted by the evil of this world, by suffering, by corruption. It’s almost as if wickedness wills permanently to spoil creation, to contradict God and make its truth and its beauty unrecognizable. In a world so marked even by evil, the "Logos," the eternal beauty and the eternal “art”, must appear as a “caput cruentatum.” The incarnate Son, the incarnate "Logos" is crowned with a crown of thorns and nevertheless is just that: in this suffering figure of the Son of God we begin to see the deepest beauty of our Creator and Redeemer; in the silence of the “dark night” we can, nevertheless, hear the Word. And believing is nothing other than, in the darkness of the world, touching the hand of God, and in this way, in silence, hearing the Word, seeing love.

Your Eminence, thank you for everything and let us continue to "walk" even further in this mysterious world of faith, to be increasingly able to pray, to ask, to proclaim, to be witnesses to the truth, that is beauty, that is love.

Finally, dear friends, I would like to thank you all, not only for this week, but for the past eight years, in which you have borne with me, with great skill, affection, love, faith, the weight of the Petrine ministry. This gratitude remains within me and even if this visible exterior communion is now ending - as Cardinal Ravasi has said - the spiritual closeness, a deep communion in prayer, remains. In this certainty let us go forward, confident in the victory of God, sure of the truth, of beauty, and of love. Thank you all.

TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : SAT. FEB. 23, 2013


Matthew 5: 43 - 48

43"You have heard that it was said, `You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'44But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,45so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.46For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?47And if you salute only your brethren, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?48You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

2013

NOVENA FOR POPE BENEDICT XVI AND ELECTION OF A NEW POPE - SHARE



Share - Novena Prayers for Pope Benedict and the Election of a New Pontiff
Heavenly father, Your Providence guides the Church and the successor to St. Peter, Pope Benedict XVI. May he be protected at all times from spiritual attacks so that he may lead Your Church to greater holiness and unity through your Holy Spirit.
We invoke our Mother Mary, united in prayer with the disciples in the Upper Room, to intercede for our cardinals to select the next Holy Father in docility to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, her divine Spouse. With Mary, Mother of God and of the Church, we entrust this conclave to your maternal and Immaculate Heart, and offer these prayers for your guidance and protection over the choosing of the next Vicar of your Son. (Section from Dr. Miravelli)
Prayer for the Pope:
Let us pray for Benedict, the pope.
May the Lord preserve him,
give him a long life,
make him blessed upon the earth,
and not hand him over
to the power of his enemies.
May your hand be upon your holy servant.
And upon your son, whom you have anointed.
Prayer of St. Benedict
Gracious and holy Father,
please give to our Pope, his successor and 
to we the faithful:
intellect to understand you;
reason to discern you;
diligence to seek you;
wisdom to find you;
a spirit to know you;
a heart to meditate upon you;
ears to hear you;
eyes to see you;
a tongue to proclaim you;
a way of life pleasing to you;
patience to wait for you;
and perseverance to look for you.
Grant your servant the 
Pope, his successor and we the faithful:
a perfect end,
your holy presence.
A blessed resurrection,
And life everlasting.
Our Father...
Hail Mary...
Glory Be...
Amen.

ASIA : PHILIPPINES : CARDINAL TAGLE SEEN AS POSSIBLE FOR POPE

UCAN REPORT

Manila prelate tipped as possible for papacy
Jason Gutierrez, Manila
Philippines
Catholic Church News Image of
Cardinal Tagle says Mass this week in Manila (AFP photo/Jay Directo)
Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle wants to bring the Catholic Church closer to people, a vision his fans say comes from a genuine passion for helping the poor and one that could make him Asia's first pope.
The 55-year-old cardinal from a working class family close to the Philippine capital is being touted at home and abroad as a genuine contender to succeed Pope Benedict XVI in next month's historic Vatican vote.
Tagle has a reputation across the devoutly Catholic Philippines as a humble man with a lifelong commitment to helping the poor, while senior Church figures regard him as a moderate progressive who balances conservative doctrines.
Tagle, the archbishop of Manila who was appointed a cardinal in November, has refused to discuss his chances for the papacy since Benedict announced he would resign on February 28 due to poor health.
But speaking at a public seminar in Manila last weekend, Tagle elaborated on his well known views that Church leaders needed to do a better job of reaching out to the people within their communities, particularly the youth.
"The young want to be connected," Tagle said at the forum.
"That is the basic of the faith – [to be] connected to God, connected to others, to the Church. We need to go back to that fundamental."
Eloquent and with a soothing voice, Tagle has also made high profile speeches in recent years, calling for a humbler Church that is more open to the public's concerns.
Tagle was born in 1957 in the then-rural township of Imus, about two hours' drive south of Manila. His devout Catholic upbringing exposed him to religious work at an early age.
One of his mentors, Father Romeo Ner, 72, recalled that they first met when Tagle was a young boy and even then he showed remarkable empathy, as well as discipline and intellect.
"He was always number one in school. He was very interested in helping the poor even at a young age and he was very close to the Church," Ner said.
"I was amazed because he knew how to recite the rosary and all of its mysteries when he was just three."
Ner said that as a young priest, Tagle was involved in raising money for parishes that served poor areas, where the future cardinal developed a taste for braised chicken feet – a staple in the slums.
"Giving the poor their true dignity is his passion. He loves them," said Ner, who as then vicar general of Tagle's hometown was instrumental in making him one of the country's youngest bishops at the age of 44 in 2001.
"When he was appointed as cardinal last year, I asked him whether he realized he was now the highest churchman in the country," Ner said.
"He just said 'yes', but appeared not to be very engrossed with the idea. He is very humble that way, and he never craved for any attention."
Respected Vatican analyst Sandro Magister wrote recently that Tagle could become the first developing world pope, in the absence of notable Church leaders in Africa and Latin America, where the majority of the world's Catholics live.
Magister wrote in Italy's L'Espresso magazine that a key point in Tagle's favor was the Church's increasing focus on Asia as the future bulwark of the faith.
Tagle is well positioned because the Philippines is Asia's only majority-Catholic nation, a legacy of more than three centuries of Spanish rule.
And while Tagle is identified with the progressive wing of the Vatican, Magister noted that even the conservative Benedict had appreciated the Filipino's "balance of vision and doctrinal correctness."
At a time when many Church leaders are seen as aloof, Magister also emphasized Tagle's reputation for connecting with the Philippines' millions of poor people.
"Especially striking is the style with which the bishop acts, living simply and mingling among the humblest people, with a great passion for mission and for charity," Magister wrote.
Bookmakers rank Tagle as among the favorites going into the cardinals' secret conclave in Rome. One popular Irish site has him at odds of 16-1.
Nevertheless, other analysts also point out the momentous nature of electing the first pope from Asia, Africa or Latin America, arguing that another European pope is a safer bet.
In the Philippines, there has been nearly uniform support for Tagle since Benedict's shock resignation announcement.
"If he becomes a pope, it will be a loss to us, but a gain to the Vatican and the Catholic world," said Ner, Tagle's former mentor, reflecting sentiments expressed by politicians, Church leaders and media commentators. AFP
SHARED FROM UCAN NEWS 

AMERICA : MEXICO : BISHOP CAUTIONS AGAINST TAKING DRUG MONEY

Agenzia Fides REPORT – The government is absent and in its place bands of drug traffickers keep capillary control of the territory: in this situation Bishop Rafael Sandoval Sandoval, Bishop of Tarahumara diocese, in Chihuahua, said in a public statement : "Drug traffickers have taken over our Sierra, but we must take back our spaces. Our people live in fear and this must not be allowed to continue. They offer our young people easy money, quick money, much money, but they offer dirty money. We must teach values to our young people and help them understand that clean money is the fruit of honest work", he said a note sent to Fides.
The Bishop spoke openly, denouncing the grave situation in the territory, to the media and civil authorities, following numerous episodes of violence in the community of Guachochi, tormented by gangs of criminals: " Because of the violence the Sierra of Tarahumara is wounded and bleeding– he said – because so many young people are easily manipulated by big drug cartels which have their idols: money, power, firearms". Bishop Sandoval called the Catholic community and the entire civil society to launch together a campaign to educate young people, re-proposing the values of the Gospel in order to build a society which is, just, honest, peaceful and fraternal. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 22/02/2013)

AUSTRALIA : OVER 185 CATECUMENS TO ENTER CHURCH

ARCHDIOCESE OF MELBOURNE RELEASE

EUROPE : MOVEMENT TO END WORKING ON SUNDAY

IND. CATH. NEWS REPORT
Calls for a work-free Sunday across Europe | European Sunday Alliance, work-free Sunday

Sundays have no price! That's the message from the European Sunday Alliance, which is calling for workers all over Europe, where possible, to take a break from their jobs next Sunday, 3 March.
The campaign says in a statement: "In times of financial and economic crisis when more and more social and employment rights are coming under pressure, the work-free Sunday is a clear and visible demonstration that the people and our societies are not dependent solely on work and the economy.
"We believe that all citizens of the European Union are entitled to benefit from decent working hours that, as a matter of principle, exclude working late evenings, nights, public holidays and Sundays. Only essential services should operate on Sundays.
"Today, legislation and practices now in place at EU and Member State levels need to be more protective of the health, safety and dignity of everyone and should more assertively promote the reconciliation of professional and family life. We believe that social cohesion in European citizenship should be reinforced.
"Therefore, the European Sunday Alliance calls on members, supporters and all citizens to make our common demand visible on Sunday, 4 March 2012!"
SHARED FROM IND. CATH. NEWS

TODAY'S SAINT : FEB. 23 : ST. POLYCARP


St. Polycarp
MARTYR AND BISHOP OF SMYRNA
Feast: February 23


Information:
Feast Day:February 23
Born:
69
Died:155 at Smyrna
Patron of:against dysentery, against earache
From his acts, written by the church of Smyrna in an excellent circular letter to the churches of Pontus, immediately after his martyrdom, a niece abridged by Eusebius, b. 4, c. 14 highly esteemed by the ancients. Joseph Scaliger, a supercilious critic, says that nothing in the whole course of church history so strongly affected him as the perusal of these acts, and those relating to the martyrs of Lyons; that he never read them but they gave him extraordinary emotions. Animad. in Chron. Eusebii, n. 2183 &c. They are certainly most valuable pieces of Christian antiquity. See Eusebius, St. Jerome, and St. Irenaeus also Tillemont, t. 2, p. 327; Dom Ceillier, t. 1; Dom Marechal, Concordance des Peres; Grecs et Latins, t. 1.

St Polycarp was one of the most illustrious of the apostolic fathers, who, being the immediate disciples of the apostles, received instructions from their mouths, and inherited of them the spirit of Christ in a degree so much the more eminent as they lived nearer the fountain head. He embraced Christianity very young, about the year 80, was a disciple of the apostles, in particular of St. John the Evangelist, and was constituted by him Bishop of Symrna, probably before his banishment to Patmos in 96, so that he governed that important see seventy years. He seems to have been the angel or bishop of Smyrna who was commended above all the bishops of Asia by Christ himself in the Apocalypse, and the only one without a reproach. Our Saviour encouraged him under his poverty, tribulation, and persecutions, especially the calumnies of the Jews, called him rich in grace, and promised him the crown of life by martyrdom. This saint was respected by the faithful to a degree of veneration. He formed many holy disciples, among whom were St. Irenaeus and Papias. When Florinus, who had often visited St. Polycarp, had broached certain heresies, St. Irenaeus wrote to him as follows: "These things were not taught you by the bishops who preceded us. I could tell you the place where the blessed Polycarp sat to preach the word of God. It is yet present to my mind with what gravity he everywhere came in and went out; what was the sanctity of his deportment, the majesty of his countenance and of his whole exterior, and what were his holy exhortations to the people. I seem to hear him now relate how he conversed with John and many others who had seen Jesus Christ; the words he had heard from their mouths. I can protest before God that if this holy bishop had heard of any error like yours, he would have immediately stopped his ears, and cried out, according to his custom, Good God! that I should be reserved to these times to hear such things! That very instant he would have fled out of the place in which he had heard such doctrine." St. Jerome mentions that St. Polycarp met at Rome the heretic Marcion in the streets, who resenting that the holy bishop did not take that notice of him which he expected, said to him, "Do you not know me, Polycarp?" "Yes," answered the saint, "I know you to be the firstborn of Satan." He had learned this abhorrence of the authors of heresy, who knowingly and willingly adulterate the divine truths, from his master, St. John, who fled out of the bath in which he saw Cerinthus. St. Polycarp kissed with respect the chains of St. Ignatius, who passed by Smyrna on the road to his martyrdom, and who recommended to our saint the care and comfort of his distant church of Antioch, which he repeated to him in a letter from Troas, desiring him to write in his name to those churches of Asia to which he had not leisure to write himself. St. Polycarp wrote a letter to the Philippians shortly after, which is highly commended by St. Irenaeus, St. Jerome, Eusebius, Photius, and others, and is still extant. It is justly admired both for the excellent instructions it contains and for the simplicity and perspicuity of the style, and was publicly read in the church in Asia in St. Jerome's time. In it he calls a heretic, as  above, the eldest son of Satan. About the year 158 he undertook a journey of charity to Rome, to confer with Pope Anicetus about certain points of discipline, especially about the time of keeping Easter, for the Asiatic churches kept it on the fourteenth day of the vernal equinoctial moon, as the Jews did, on whatever day of the week it fell; whereas Rome, Egypt, and all the West observed it on the Sunday following. It was agreed that both might follow their custom without breaking the bands of charity. St. Anicetus, to testify his respect, yielded to him the honour of celebrating the Eucharist in his own church. We find no further particulars concerning our saint recorded before the acts of his martyrdom.
In the sixth year of Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus, Statius Quadratus being proconsul of Asia, a violent persecution broke out in that country, in which the faithful gave heroic proofs of their courage and love of God, to the astonishment of the infidels. When they were torn to pieces with scourges till their very bowels were laid bare, amidst the moans and tears of the spectators, who were moved with pity at the sight of their torments, not one of them gave so much as a single groan, so little regard had they for their own flesh in the cause of God. No kinds of torture, no inventions of cruelty, were forborne to force them to a conformity to the pagan worship of the times. Germanicus, who had been brought to Smyrna with eleven or twelve other Christians, signalised himself above the rest, and animated the most timorous to suffer. The proconsul in the amphitheatre called upon him with tenderness, entreated him to have some regard for his youth, and to value at least his life, but he, with a holy impatience, provoked the beasts to devour him, to leave this wicked world. One Quintus, a Phrygian, who had presented himself to the judge, yielded at the sight of the beast let out upon him, and sacrificed. The authors of these acts justly condemn the presumption of those who offered themselves to suffer, and say that the martyrdom of St. Polycarp was conformable to the gospel, because he exposed not himself to the temptation, but waited till the persecutors laid hands on him, as Christ our Lord taught us by his own example. The spectators, seeing the courage of Germanicus and his companions, and being fond of their impious bloody diversions, cried out, "Away with the impious! let Polycarp be sought for!" The holy man, though fearless, had been prevailed upon by his friends to withdraw and conceal himself in a neighbouring village during the storm, spending most of his time in prayer. Three days before his martyrdom, he in a vision saw his pillow on fire, from which he understood by revelation, and foretold his companions, that he should be burnt alive.
When the persecutors were in quest of him he changed his retreat, but was betrayed by a boy, who was threatened with the rack unless he discovered him. Herod, the Irenarch, or keeper of the peace, whose office it was to prevent misdemeanours and apprehend malefactors, sent horsemen by night to beset his lodgings. The saint was above stairs in bed, but refused to make his escape, saying, "God's will be done." He went down, met them at the door, ordered them a handsome supper, and sired only some time for prayer before he went with them. This granted, he began his prayer standing, which he continued in that posture for two hours, recommending to God his own flock and the whole church with so much earnestness and devotion that several of those that were come to seize him repented they had undertaken the commission. They set him on an ass, and were conducting him towards the city when he was met on the road by Herod and his father Nicetes, who took him into their chariot, and endeavoured to persuade him to a little compliance, saying, "What harm is there in saying Lord Caesar, or even in sacrificing, to escape death?" By the word Lord was meant nothing less than a kind of deity or godhead. The bishop at first was silent, in imitation of our Saviour, but being pressed, he gave them this resolute answer, "I shall never do what you desire of me." At these words, taking off the mask of friendship and compassion, they treated him with scorn and reproaches, and thrust him out of the chariot with such violence that his leg was bruised by the fall. The holy man went forward cheerfully to the place where the people were assembled. Upon his entering it a voice from heaven was heard by many, "Polycarp, be courageous, and act manfully." He was led directly to the tribunal of the proconsul, who exhorted him to respect his own age, to swear by the genius of Caesar, and to say, "Take away the impious," meaning the Christians. The saint, turning towards the people in the pit, said, with a stern countenance, "Exterminate the wicked," meaning by this expression either a wish that they might cease to be wicked by their conversion to the faith of Christ, or this was a prediction of the calamity which befel their city in 177, when Smyrna was overturned by an earthquake, as we read in Dionand Aristides. The proconsul repeated, "Swear by the genius of Caesar, and I discharge you; blaspheme Christ." Polycarp replied, "I have served him these fourscore and six years, and he never did me any harm, but much good, and how can I blaspheme my King and my Saviour? If you require of me to swear by the genius of Caesar, as you call it, hear my free confession- I am a Christian; but if you desire to learn the Christian religion, appoint a time, and hear me." The proconsul said, "Persuade the people." The martyr replied, "I addressed my discourse to you, for we are taught to give due honour to princes as far as is consistent with religion. But the populace is an incompetent judge to justify myself before." Indeed rage rendered them incapable of hearing him.
The proconsul then assuming a tone of severity, said: "I have wild beasts." "Call for them," replied the saint: "for we are unalterably resolved not to change from good to evil. It is only good to pass from evil to good." The proconsul said: "If you contemn the beasts, I will cause you to be burnt to ashes." Polycarp answered: "You threaten me with a fire which burns for a short time and then goes out, but are yourself ignorant of the judgment to come, and of the fire of everlasting torments which is prepared for the wicked. Why do you delay? Bring against me what you please." Whilst he said this and many other things, he appeared in a transport of joy and confidence, and his  countenance shone with a certain heavenly grace and pleasant cheerfulness, insomuch that the proconsul himself was struck with admiration. However, he ordered a crier to make public proclamation three times in the middle of the Stadium (as was the Roman custom in capital cases): "Polycarp hath confessed himself a Christian." At this proclamation the whole multitude of Jews and Gentiles gave a great shout, the latter crying out, "This is the great teacher of Asia; the father of the Christians; the destroyer of our gods, who preaches to men not to sacrifice to or adore them." They applied to Philip the Asiarch to let loose a lion upon Polycarp. He told them that it was not in his power, because those shows had been closed. Then they unanimously demanded that he should be burnt alive. Their request was no sooner granted but every one ran with all speed to fetch wood from the baths and shops. The pile being prepared, Polycarp put off his garments, untied his girdle, and began to take off his shoes, an office he had not been accustomed to, the Christians having always striven who should do these things for him, regarding it as a happiness to be admitted to touch him. The wood and other combustibles were heaped all round him. The executioners would have nailed him to the stake; but he said to them: "Suffer me to be as I am. He who gives me grace to undergo this fire will enable me to stand still without that precaution." They therefore contented themselves with tying his hands behind his back, and in this posture looking up towards heaven, he prayed as follows: "O Almighty Lord God, Father of thy beloved and blessed Son Jesus Christ, by whom we have received the knowledge of thee, God of angels, powers, and every creature, and of all the race of the just that live in thy presence! I bless thee for having been pleased in thy goodness to bring me to this hour, that I may receive a portion in the number of thy martyrs, and partake of the chalice of thy Christ, for the resurrection to eternal life, in the incorruptibleness of the holy Spirit. Amongst whom grant me to be received this day as a pleasing sacrifice, such an one as thou thyself hast prepared, that so thou mayest accomplish what thou, O true and faithful God! hast foreshown. Wherefore, for all things I praise, bless, and glorify thee, through the eternal high priest Jesus Christ, thy beloved Son, with whom, to Thee and the Holy Ghost be glory now and for ever. Amen." He had scarce said Amen when fire was set to the pile, which increased to a mighty flame. But behold a wonder, say the authors of these acts, seen by us reserved to attest it to others; the flames forming themselves into an arch, like the sails of a ship swelled with the wind, gently encircled the body of the martyr, which stood in the middle, resembling not roasted flesh, but purified gold or silver, appearing bright through the flames; and his body sending forth such a fragrancy that we seemed to smell precious spices. The blind infidels were only exasperated to see his body could not be consumed, and ordered a spearman to pierce him through, which he did, and such a quantity of blood issued out of his left side as to quench the fire. The malice of the devil ended not here: he endeavoured to obstruct the relics of the martyr being carried off by the Christians; for many desired to do it, to show their respect to his body. Therefore, by the suggestion of Satan, Nicetes advised the proconsul not to bestow it on the Christians, lest, said he, abandoning the crucified man, they should adore Polycarp: the Jews suggested this, "Not knowing," say the authors of the acts, "that we can never forsake Christ, nor adore any other, though we love the martyrs, as his disciples and imitators, for the great love they bore their king and master." The centurion, seeing a contest raised by the Jews, placed the body in the middle, and burnt it to ashes. "We afterwards took up the bones," say they, "more precious than the richest jewels or gold, and deposited them decently in a place at which may God grant us to assemble with joy, to celebrate the birthday of the martyr." Thus these disciples and eye-witnesses. It was at two o'clock in the afternoon, which the authors of the acts call the eighth hour, in the year 166, that St. Polycarp received his crown, according to Tillemont; but in 169, according to Basnage.1 His tomb is still shown with great veneration at Smyrna, in a small chapel. St. Irenaeus speaks of St. Polycarp as being of an uncommon age.
The epistle of St. Polycarp to the Philippians, which is the only one among those which he wrote that has been preserved, is, even in the dead letter, a standing proof of the apostolic spirit with which he was animated, and of that profound humility, perfect meekness, burning charity, and holy zeal, of which his life was so admirable an example. The beginning is an effusion of spiritual joy and charity with which he was transported at the happiness of their conversion to God, and their fervor in divine love. His extreme abhorrence of heresy makes him immediately fall upon that of the Docaetae against which he arms the faithful, by clearly demonstrating that Christ was truly made man, died, and rose again: in which his terms admirably express his most humble and affectionate devotion to our divine Redeemer, under  these great mysteries of love. Besides walking in truth, he takes notice, that to be raised with Christ in glory, we must also do his will, keep all his commandments, and love whatever he loved; refraining from all fraud, avarice, detraction, and rash judgment; repaying evil with good forgiving and showing mercy to others that we ourselves may find mercy. "These things," says he, "I write to you on justice, because you incited me; for neither I, nor any other like me, can attain to the wisdom of the blessed and glorious Paul, into whose epistles if you look, you may raise your spiritual fabric by strengthening faith, which is our mother, hope following, and charity towards God, Christ, and our neighbor preceding us. He who has charity is far from all sin." The saint gives short instructions to every particular state, then adds, "Every one who hath not confessed that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is antichrist; and who hath not confessed the suffering of the cross, is of the devil; and who hath drawn the oracles of the Lord to his passions, and hath said that there is no  resurrection nor judgment, he is the oldest son of Satan." He exhorts to watching always in prayer, lest we be led into temptation; to be constant in fasting, persevering, joyful in hope, and in the pledge of our justice, which is Christ Jesus, imitating his patience; for, by suffering for his name, we glorify him. To encourage them to suffer, he reminds them of those who had suffered before their eyes: Ignatius, Zozimus, and Rufus, and some of their own congregation, "who are now," says our saint, "in the place which is due to them with the Lord, with whom they also suffered."


source: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/P/stpolycarp.asp#ixzz1nD7cNIML
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