— Bishop and Martyr
St. Polycarp was a disciple of St. John. After a long life devoted to God and His Church, he was arraigned before the proconsul and ordered to curse Christ and go free. Polycarp answered: “Eighty-six years I have served Him, and He never did me wrong; how can I blaspheme my King and my Savior.” At the stake he thanked God for letting him drink of Christ’s chalice.
Whosoever shall confess Me before men, him will I also confess before My Father. — Lauds: First Antiphon
The Imitation of Christ
Then is he weary of longer life; and wisheth death to come, that he may be dissolved, and be with Christ.
At the age of 86 this dear saint was burned to death in the amphitheater for his faith. The deeds we consider so very heroic in our own life dwindle away when we think of what some real heroes have done.
You may never be called on to give up your life in martyrdom, but you are asked daily to endure little inconveniences patiently. Get into the habit of believing that everything that happens is a special gift of God meant to advance your sanctity.
Every hour comes with some little fagot of God’s will fastened upon its back.