INTROIT (Ps. 96:7-8)
Ps. 96:1. The Lord is king; let the earth rejoice; let the many isles be glad!
V. Glory be . . .
Commemoration of SAINT POLYCARP
A disciple of St. John the Beloved, Polycarp received from the Apostle himself his appointment as bishop of Smyrna. Polycarp served his master ardently during a long episcopate. In his old age he refused to flee persecution and faced martyrdom with supreme peace of soul. When ordered to deny Christ, Polycarp replied, "For 86 years I have served Him; how then can I blaspheme my Savior and my King?" The last of the bishops chosen by the Apostles, he was martyred in the year 156.
And when he had entered into Capharnaum, there came to him a centurion, beseeching him,
and saying, "Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, and is grievously tormented." And Jesus saith to him: "I will come and heal him." And the centurion, making answer, said: "Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldst enter under my roof; but only say the word, and my servant shall be healed. For I also am a man subject to authority, having under me soldiers; and I say to this, Go, and he goeth, and to another Come, and he cometh, and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it." And Jesus hearing this, marvelled; and said to them that followed him. "Amen I say to you, I have not found so great faith in Israel. And I say to you that many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven: But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into the exterior darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." And Jesus said to the centurion: "Go, and as thou hast believed, so be it done to thee." And the servant was healed at the same hour.
Bless the gifts we have set apart for You, O Lord. May the prayers of Your blessed Martyr bishop Polycarp help these offerings to win Your mercy for us. Through our Lord . . .