Friday, November 24, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

How thankful I am for the gift of Jesus in the Eucharist and for each of you! 
On Thanksgiving Day at Mass, the LOVE God poured out upon me in Holy Communion was so tangible and real that waves of infinite love, grace, mercy, light and life just flooded upon me again and again! The experience was so tremendous that I couldn't stop crying. I cried and cried and cried and cried. I cried in thanksgiving -- overwhelmed by how deeply God loves me and how intimately and tenderly He cares for me!!! 
I share this with you because I believe God wants to remind each of us of how deeply He loves us!!! 'God shows no partiality!' He knows and sees everything you are going through and holds you close to Himself in your every need. He is with you -- breathing life into you, into your family, into your situation, whether you can see it outwardly or not! He has a great plan for you and He is with you always, so know that you are never alone! (How much I pray for those who don't have family or friends to spend time with during the Holidays!) Know that not only God, but Mary and all the angels and saints also surround and protect you and guide you. 
Oh, Lord, open our eyes to see the power of our prayers and how you have ordained that they hold up the world through Your Grace. May we see a glimpse of Your Glory that hides so humbly before us in the Adoration Chapel, and how in each Communion and at our every invitation, You truly come to 'live and move and have your being' within us. 
How thankful we are that EVERY DAY the greatest miracle takes place on the altars of Catholic Churches throughout the world as bread and wine become 'Your Body given up for me', and 'Your Blood poured out for me'! 
No wonder the word Eucharist means Thanksgiving!
Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

An Amazing Thing Happened 100 Years Ago Today! But Are We Responding?

A View of the Nightly Candlelight Procession at the Shrine of Fatima, Portugal taken May 2017.

Why I Write about Fatima and Questions to Ponder for Today:

I was about 8 years old when I first heard about the events of Fatima. 
Something in me was so deeply touched that I have never been the same again. 
Since Jesus had ascended to the Father, I had never heard of anyone coming from heaven to help us!! 
I was (and still am) amazed at the thought of Jesus sending His Mother to us to be Our Mother! 
And wondered, how could this be? How amazing! 
And yet, if she came down from heaven to speak to us, it has to be really important! How can we not listen to her? 
How can we ignore her words when she has come to remind and warn us that Heaven and Hell are REAL and TRUE?!  And that people go to both places?!

In her messages, she has given us the answer to all the problems the world is wrestling with to this day -- She tells us God's plan to achieve world peace, to the end of war, to the conversion of ourselves, our friends and family, and has given us guidelines in how we are to live!!!

And yet, the answers heaven gives us are conditional. They are based on our response!
So, the million dollar question is: 
Will we respond?

But first, what exactly happened? 

An Amazing Thing Happened 100 Years Ago Today!

100 years ago today, on August 19th, 1917, in the midst of World War I, a beautiful lady from heaven appeared to three shepherd children for the fourth time in four months. She asked them to renew their sacrifices, saying:

“Pray, pray very much, and make sacrifices for sinners; for many souls go to hell, because there are none to sacrifice themselves and pray for them.”

The Background:

Every month since May, “a beautiful lady from heaven” had come to the children and requested that they return on the 13th of the following month to see and speak to her. She promised she would visit them through October. 
So, why are we celebrating something today, that took place on August 19th, instead of the 13th? What happened that the seers were unable to see the Lady as she promised?

It was because the local civil administrator, Arturo Santos, kidnapped, threatened and imprisoned the three little children on the 13th of August to prevent them from seeing the Lady at their appointed meeting time. Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta were only 10, 9 and 7 respectively. Santos hated all the talk of heaven that children were inspiring; and he was determined to make the children stop lying about seeing Our Lady and to stop the great influx of people who were coming in ever greater numbers to witness these heavenly events, so he held the little seers captive from August 13-15th! (By the way, August 15th is the Feast of Mary being released from this earth and taken up to heaven by God.)

The children, however, would not recant their story: they had seen a beautiful lady from heaven and they could not deny it.  Nor would they share the secret that was revealed to them the month before -- even when threatened with death. The children were told if they didn’t reveal the secret or deny the "Lady" they would be put into a vat of boiling hot oil that was on the other side of the door. Each one went willingly through the door, rather than to deny they had seen the Lady.  (They lived because there really was no pot of boiling oil).

These littlest ones endured three days apart from their families, suffering from the anger, insults, threats and abuse of this official set against them.  They were even put in the same room with the criminals in the prison! (These same convicts eventually became so inspired by the children that they began to pray the rosary with them)!

Yet, despite all they endured during this trial, the little ones revealed their deepest pain was not being able to see the beautiful Lady and to fulfill her request to be at the appointed spot to meet her. When the 13th came and went, they were heartbroken at fear of offending the Lady by not showing up… and because they didn't know if they would ever see her again. 

While enduring this suffering, they often reminded themselves and each other: “Why should we fear? If they kill us, we’ll just go straight to heaven!” (They were given a glimpse of heaven during the first appearance of the Lady in May, in which they received the promise that they would all go to heaven).  
And they remembered their mission to offer sacrifices to save souls. So they often said, as they were making some sacrifice, the prayer our Lady taught them:

“O Jesus, it is for love of You, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”

The mission to pray and sacrifice for sinners began to fill every part of their lives, especially following what they had seen and heard during the previous apparition, which occurred on July 13th.  That day, like all the other appearances since Mary, Mary asked them to continue to “pray the Rosary every day in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary in order to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war, because only she can help you.”

Then a three-part secret was revealed to them that would only be shared in part in 1941, when Lucia revealed that the children had seen hell and all its horrors. The terrible sufferings and the images of damned souls, as well as the words that Mary spoke to them never left the children. It would drive them to make tremendous sacrifices – even unto death for the two youngest, (who died heroically from illness not long after these appearances ended).

This is what the Lady said to them after they witnessed the vision of hell. She said with great sadness:

“You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace. The war is going to end; but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the pontificate of Pius XI. When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that he is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father.
“To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays. If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated. In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me and she will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.”

These words are so important to remember. Perhaps it is a good idea to read them again and again, until the plan of God penetrates our hearts, for amazingly, it is revealed that the salvation of many souls rests on our response. 

August 19, 1917:
After the children were released, they went back to their lives as shepherds, except for Jacinta, whose mother began to keep her at home because she feared so much for her little girl's safety. Yet, they still feared they would never see the Lady again. The children need not have worried, the Lady did come again. But, it wasn’t until the 19th of August, while Lucia and Francisco were tending to their sheep not too far from their homes, (at a property named Valinhos), that they sensed Our Lady was coming. Francisco and Jactinta's older brother, John, was with them; so they sent him home to bring back Jacinta. Our Lady waited for Jacinta to arrive before instructing them, saying:

“Go again to the Cova da Iria on the 13th and continue to say the Rosary every day.”

She also continued to promise that a great miracle would take place so that all would believe, however she added that if they had not been kidnapped the miracle would have been even greater.  She then spoke the words that began this article:

“Pray, pray very much, and make sacrifices for sinners; for many souls go to hell, because there are none to sacrifice themselves and pray for them.”
My daughter praying at Valinhos in May 2017, during our 100th Anniversary Pilgrimage

These words, this TRUTH, has echoed through my being since I first heard them. 
And, I ask myself, if we truly hear these words, how can we fail to respond to them? 

I don’t always feel like praying the Rosary, but how do my feelings or experiences compare when faced with the reality that immortal souls go to hell for eternity, because there is no one to pray and sacrifice for them???

Each time I don’t feel like praying the rosary, or I’ve been so overwhelmed and busy that I haven’t been able to pray the rosary unto the wee hours of the morning, this reality comes to my mind: Souls are going to hell because there is no one to pray and sacrifice for them. 

If I take the time to ponder this, this thought expands my heart enough for me to begin to pray. 

Likewise with sufferings, when I’m inconvenienced, sick or suffering, when trials come upon me or upon my family… it has become a habit to think of the souls who can escape hell, if only I offer up this as a sacrifice for them! 

What a glorious exchange for things that we all must endure anyway! For suffering comes to all of us in different forms, but how differently can we react to them! So, I strive to offer up all I am and all I experience for love of Jesus, for the conversion of sinners and in reparation for all the sins committed against the hearts of Jesus and Mary (who love us so!!!) 
This is ultimately what consecration is and what God so often asks of us through Our Mother’s repeated intercessions for us.

Each day, we have multiple opportunities to either say “yes” or “no” to God. 
If we say "yes" repeatedly to God's calls, our heart truly does expand; and thus, God is able to use us, for we are open to his inspirations and we are able to do more and more with, in and through Him. 
Likewise, each time we say “no” our heart becomes a little harder, which makes it harder to hear God's voice; until eventually, if we keep saying “no” our heart becomes so hard that it is increasingly difficult to say “yes” and go beyond ourselves – and thus, we hinder the amazing experience of allowing God "to live and move and have His Being in us!"

Yet, God, in His Most Gracious Mercy, gives us an infinite number of times to begin again, for our human frailty often fails us! 
So, it is not about perfectly responding, but never giving up in responding. 
If we continue to strive, He continually pours out His Grace and Life to help us!

During this time of such great darkness and deceit, when Satan is inviting violence and despair, I know God is calling ALL WHO WILL LISTEN TO HIM,  to live the answers He has sent to us!!!! 
Can you imagine how transformed our world would be if a countless multitude of little souls answer His Call to pray much and offer sacrifices to save others?? For He is able to:

"do infinitely more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us" Ephesians 3: 20.

Thank you for taking the time to read through to the end of this article. 
I pray that God may bless you and all your loved ones today and always! Know that I pray for all who read my words and have prayed for you for many years (that is another story to tell at a later date). 
May you accept God's gift of Mary and "Behold your Mother" as Jesus requested from the Cross; and may these words from heaven come alive for you: 
“Pray, pray very much, and make sacrifices for sinners; for many souls go to hell, because there are none to sacrifice themselves and pray for them.”
Please watch for further posts on Fatima to see what happened next... the Great Miracle... Why is it so important to Pray the Rosary?... Practice 1st Saturday Devotions? and Consecrate Ourselves to God through Mary? What is the 3rd Secret of Fatima? Also, why would God send Mary to us?

© Janet Moore 2017. All Rights Reserved. 

For further Reading:
100th Anniversary Year of Fatima 
Pope Francis declared this 100th Anniversary Year of Fatima as a time of great grace. He even journeyed to Fatima himself to declare Francisco and Jacinta saints, giving a beautiful homily that began:
“[There] appeared in heaven a woman clothed with the sun”.  So the seer of Patmos tells us in the Book of Revelation (12:1), adding that she was about to give birth to a son.  Then, in the Gospel, we hear Jesus say to his disciple, “Here is your mother” (Jn 19:27).  We have a Mother!  “So beautiful a Lady”, as the seers of Fatima said to one another as they returned home on that blessed day of 13 May a hundred years ago.  That evening, Jacinta could not restrain herself and told the secret to her mother: “Today I saw Our Lady”.  They had seen the Mother of Heaven. " 
All our recent Popes have reiterated the urgency of Fatima's messages. St. John Paul II believed Our Lady of Fatima saved his life on May 13, 1981, and afterward proclaimed the message of Fatima extensively, saying:
“… the evangelical call to repentance and conversion, uttered in the Mother's message, remains ever relevant.... It is still more urgent.
 ...Mary's appeal is not for just once. Her appeal must be taken up by generation after generation, in accordance with the ever new "signs of the times". It must be unceasingly returned to. It must ever be taken up anew.”

Saturday, June 24, 2017

36 Years of Apparitions: Are We Living Our Mother's Call to Prayer and Conversion While There is Still Time?

What if Jesus has been reaching out to save us through the heart of Mary, his Mother?

What if Jesus has sent his Mother to us every day – for a period of time longer than the years He lived on earth?

What if, amazingly, God sent His Mother 36 years ago to save us; and He has never stopped sending her to us, because we so desperately need to know Him and His mother’s love for us (in this world so lost in the darkness of sin and death and acts as if God doesn’t exist)?

If this is all true, how are we to respond to these extraordinary events?
Should they mean something to us?
Should the messages that are being given impact our lives?

In Medjugorje, it is reported that Our Lady first appeared on the feast of the Birth of St. John the Baptist, June 24, 1981 – covering and uncovering the Infant Jesus in Her arms from a nearby hilltop. This hill was largely inaccessible to the people who lived in the villages nearby – especially to young mothers and their infants -- due to the thorn bushes and rocks that covered it.

It wasn’t until the following day that she spoke to the children and thus, June 25, 1981 became the official first day of apparitions.
In that visit, Mary told the children:
“I wish to be with you to convert and to reconcile the whole world."

As she called us in Fatima, could she not be calling us again through Medjugorje? Could Mary, like John the Baptist did so long ago, Mary comes as a voice calling out in the wilderness, “Prepare the Way of the Lord!”?

Pope Saint John Paul II thought so. He likened Mary’s call in Fatima to John the Baptist’s call for conversion, saying:
"Can the Mother, who . . .desires everyone's salvation, keep silence on what undermines the very basis of their salvation? No, she cannot.
So, while the message of Our Lady of Fatima is a motherly one, it is also strong and decisive. It sounds severe. It sounds like John the Baptist speaking on the banks of the Jordan. It invites to repentance. It gives a warning. It calls to prayer. It recommends the Rosary.
The message is addressed to every human being. . . The heart of the Blessed Mother . . . calls us. She not only calls us to be converted; she calls us to accept her motherly help to return to the source of redemption."

Not only did St. John Paul liken Mary’s call to John the Baptist, but he also recognized a connection between the Fatima apparitions and those of Medjugorje, and said to Bishop Paolo Hnilica in 1984:
"Medjugorje is the fulfillment and continuation of Fatima!"
He understood that Our Lady was coming in Medjugorje to continue her prophetic work in the world, to save us from war and self-destruction. 

Our Lady, herself, also spoke of continuing her work begun in Fatima in Medjugorje, in her message of August 25, 1991:
"Dear Children! Today also I invite you to prayer, now as never before when my plan has begun to be realized. Satan is strong and wants to sweep away my plans of peace and joy and make you think that my Son is not strong in His decisions. Therefore, I call all of you, dear children, to pray and fast still more firmly. I invite you to self-renunciation for nine days so that, with your help, everything that I desire to realize through the secrets I began in Fatima, may be fulfilled. I call you, dear children, to now grasp the importance of my coming and the seriousness of the situation. I want to save all souls and present them to God. Therefore, let us pray that everything I have begun be fully realized. Thank you for having responded to my call."

In light of this, let us listen to an account of the first words of Our Lady, according to one of the visionaries, Ivan:

“My dear children, I am with you. I am your Mother. Do not be afraid of anything. I will protect you. I will help you. I will guide you.”

 “I am the Queen of Peace, and I have come my dear children, because my Son has sent me to help you.  My dear children, peace, peace and only peace. My dear children, there must be peace. Peace must reign on this earth. My dear children, peace must reign between God and man and among people. My dear children, this world and this humanity is finding itself in a great danger and there is a threat that it will destroy itself.”

Ivan says, “Our Lady’s greatest desire is peace.” In order for us to have peace, she asked us to decide daily and to persist in accepting the words of Christ and the Gospel.
“To live this way we will grow in holiness!”

Ivan continues:
“We are enrolled in school of peace, love and prayer. I wish to be a good student. I wish to complete the homework assignment on a daily basis.

What are the most important things is our Mother calling us to?
There are 8 Messages she is inviting us to live:
Returning to God
Prayer of the Heart
Penance and Fasting
Strong Faith

Our Lady is leading us through these messages.
She speaks of them simply so we can better understand and live them.

How necessary peace is to today’s tired world… tired families… tired young people… tired Church.
“My dear children, you are the Church. You are my lungs of the Church. You are my living Church. If you are strong, then the Church will be strong.  If you are weak, then the Church will be weak. There is no living Church without living families.”

That is why every living family must be a living Church – a family where prayer happens and the sacramental life is being lived out. We have to bring prayer back in our families.
That is why Our Mother is coming to us…She points out what is not good and leads us on the path to good. She wishes to encourage us, and comfort us – she wishes to offer us a divine cure for us and for all our pain. She wishes to heal our wounds, to bind our wounds with such great love and motherly tenderness --to lead us to her Son.

“My dear children, today more than ever before, the world and humanity is going through its greatest crisis. The greatest crisis is when you are distant from God, you become distant from prayer. My dear children this world and its humanity have wished to go into the future without God. They wish to go alone. But know my dear children, this world is not able to offer you peace. The peace that this world is able to offer you will soon disappoint you, because peace is of God and is of Him alone.”

Peace comes only if there is living faith and prayer.”

How can we summarize 36 years of supernatural experiences and events? It seems impossible.

But, perhaps, it is as simple as saying that Mary comes to us as our Mother, again and again, tirelessly, as only a Mother can -- in order to call us to conversion "for the last time" (as she said once in her messages).  

This constant theme of the urgent need to convert is evidenced in our Mother’s most recent messages:

"Dear children! The Most High has permitted me to call you anew to conversion. Little children, open your hearts to the grace to which you are all called. Be witnesses of peace and love in this peaceless world. Your life here on earth is passing. Pray that through prayer you may yearn for Heaven and the things of Heaven and your hearts will see everything differently. You are not alone; I am with you and intercede before my Son Jesus for you. Thank you for having responded to my call." May 25, 1017

She even said in her latest message that we must "be ready. This time is a turning point":
“Dear children, as in the other places where I have come to you, also here I am calling you to prayer. Pray for those who do not know my Son, for those who have not come to know the love of God, against sin, for the consecrated – for those whom my Son called to have love and the spirit of strength for you, for the Church.
Pray to my Son, and the love which you experience from His nearness will give you the strength to make you ready for the works of love which you will do in His name. My children, be ready. This time is a turning point. That is why I am calling you anew to faith and hope.
I am showing you the way by which you need to go, and those are the words of the Gospel. Apostles of my love, the world is in such need of your arms raised towards Heaven, towards my Son, towards the Heavenly Father. Much humility and purity of heart are needed.
Have trust in my Son and know that you can always be better. My motherly heart desires for you, apostles of my love, to be little lights of the world, to illuminate there where darkness wants to begin to reign, to show the true way by your prayer and love, to save souls. I am with you. Thank you.” June 2, 2017

Why would Mary come to us daily for nearly 40 years?

Is it because Our Lady wants to save all souls and present them to God?
This task has been given her by the Father.

And why does she comes daily, asking us again and again to pray, to confess, to go to Mass and adore, to forgive, to read Scripture, to fast...?  
Could it be that she needs us to pray, to fast, to sacrifice and to believe as she needed the three shepherds of Fatima before us -- in order to save so many souls that are falling into hell, because there is no one to fast and pray for them?

Could it be that this is an extraordinary time of grace and a gift from God, Who loves us beyond our capacity to understand and Who will do anything to save us? 

If so, are we living Our Mother's messages of repentance, fasting and prayer in this time of grace, while there is still time?

Points to Consider regarding Pope Francis’ Comments on Medjugorje by Dr. Mark Miravalle:

The Ruini Report : Church Approval of First Apparitions in Medjugorje:

The Papal Envoy, Archbishop’s Hoser’s, remarks on Medjugorje:

Thursday, February 23, 2017

How I Came to Know and Love St. Polycarp - His Life and Martyrdom

First of all, what a name! Polycarp can literally be translated as "many fish" (as poly means “many” and carp means “fish”). Perhaps Polycarp obtained this name because of his great desire to be a "fisher of men" in order to save many souls. 

On this feast of St. Polycarp, I wanted to share with you a little about this amazing man and how I came to know and love St. Polycarp through my study of St. John the Apostle. 

 (I wrote my Master’s thesis in defense of St. John as the Beloved Disciple. I wrote this defense in response to the modern historical critics who have tried not only to discredit St. John’s designation as Jesus’ Beloved Disciple and so subsequently, all history pertaining to the same -- which, if their faulty reasoning and scholarship is accepted, effectively erases St. John’s place in the history of the early Church, and ultimately casts doubt on the authenticity and authority of his Gospel, Epistles and the Book of Revelation.)

In my study, I found a treasure in the early Church Fathers, one of whom was St. Polycarp. I came to cherish these men who fell so in love with Christ that they devoted their entire lives to Him.  Although never knowing Christ personally, they came to know and love Jesus through the eyewitness testimonies of the apostles.

In doing my research, I came across accounts and writings of St. Polycarp who was taught by St. John the Apostle, the Evangelist and Beloved Disciple himself.

St. Irenaeus wrote about being a disciple of Polycarp, sharing that as a boy he would listen at his feet, as he:

gave of his intercourse with John and with the others who had seen the Lord. And as he remembered their words, and what he heard from them concerning the Lord, and concerning his miracles and his teaching, having received them from eyewitnesses of the 'Word of life,' (1 John 1:1) Polycarp related all things in harmony with the Scriptures.
These things being told me by the mercy of God, I listened to them attentively, noting them down, not on paper, but in my heart. And continually, through God's grace, I recall them faithfully. (E.H.5.20.6 emphasis mine)

Several decades into the second century, what an extraordinary grace for believers in Christ, to be able to sit and listen at the feet of someone who was taught by and knew the apostles! If you were to read the whole letter written above by St. Irenaeus, you would hear him speak of the honor it was to be able to listen at the feet of a disciple of “John and others who had seen the Lord”. So much so, that he was surrounded by people who “attentively listened” and carefully kept his teachings in their hearts.

St. Irenaeus further writes of Polycarp:

But Polycarp also was not only instructed by apostles, and conversed with many who had seen Christ, but was also, by apostles in Asia, appointed bishop of the Church in Smyrna, whom I also saw in my early youth, for he tarried [on earth] a very long time, and, when a very old man, gloriously and most nobly suffering martyrdom, departed this life, having always taught the things which he had learned from the apostles, and which the Church has handed down, and which alone are true. (A.H. 3.3.4)

We are blessed to have an eyewitness account of this martyrdom, which was truly amazing! The account is worth reading in its entirety.  But, because of its length, I'll share some highlights:

Now, as Polycarp was entering into the stadium, there came to him a voice from heaven, saying,
“Be strong, and show yourself a man, O Polycarp!”
No one saw who it was that spoke to him; but those of our brethren who were present heard the voice.
… [the proconsul] sought to persuade him to deny [Christ], saying, “Have respect to your old age… “Swear, and I will set you at liberty, reproach Christ.”

Polycarp declared,
“Eighty and six years have I served Him, and He never did me any injury: how then can I blaspheme my King and my Saviour?”

...Polycarp said, “You threaten me with fire which burns for an hour, and after a little is extinguished, but are ignorant of the fire of the coming judgment and of eternal punishment, reserved for the ungodly. But why do you tarry? Bring forth what you will.”

While he spoke these and many other like things, he was filled with confidence and joy, and his countenance was full of grace …when they were about also to fix him with nails [to consume him in the fire], he said,
“Leave me as I am; for He that gives me strength to endure the fire, will also enable me, without your securing me by nails, to remain without moving in the pile.”

They did not nail him then, but simply bound him. And he, placing his hands behind him, and being bound like a distinguished ram [taken] out of a great flock for sacrifice, and prepared to be an acceptable burnt-offering unto God, looked up to heaven, and said,

“O Lord God Almighty, the Father of your beloved and blessed Son Jesus Christ, by whom we have received the knowledge of You, the God of angels and powers, and of every creature, and of the whole race of the righteous who live before you, I give You thanks that You have counted me, worthy of this day and this hour, that I should have a part in the number of Your martyrs, in the cup of your Christ, to the resurrection of eternal life, both of soul and body, through the incorruption [imparted] by the Holy Ghost. Among whom may I be accepted this day before You as a fat and acceptable sacrifice, according as You, the ever-truthful God, have foreordained, have revealed beforehand to me, and now have fulfilled. Wherefore also I praise You for all things, I bless You, I glorify You, along with the everlasting and heavenly Jesus Christ, Your beloved Son, with whom, to You, and the Holy Ghost, be glory both now and to all coming ages. Amen.”

When he had pronounced this amen, and so finished his prayer, those who were appointed for the purpose kindled the fire. And as the flame blazed forth in great fury, we, to whom it was given to witness it, beheld a great miracle, and have been preserved that we might report to others what then took place. For the fire, shaping itself into the form of an arch, like the sail of a ship when filled with the wind, encompassed as by a circle the body of the martyr. And he appeared within not like flesh which is burnt, but as bread that is baked, or as gold and silver glowing in a furnace. Moreover, we perceived such a sweet odour [coming from the pile], as if frankincense or some such precious spices had been smoking there.

At length, when those wicked men perceived that his body could not be consumed by the fire, they commanded an executioner to go near and pierce him through with a dagger. And on his doing this, there came forth a dove, and a great quantity of blood, so that the fire was extinguished; and all the people wondered that there should be such a difference between the unbelievers and the elect, of whom this most admirable Polycarp was one, having in our own times been an apostolic and prophetic teacher, and bishop of the Catholic Church which is in Smyrna. For every word that went out of his mouth either has been or shall yet be accomplished.

O God of wonders, you never cease to astound me!  Help me to witness to you in this age in which so many of your children no longer believe in you. In this time of widespread deception, may the Truth that St. Polycarp's preached, his love of God and his witness unto death encourage and inspire me, so that I may have the courage to live and die for You as well, realizing: "What have we to fear if God is on our side?"

St. Polycarp, pray for us!  Help us to have ever-greater courage and love for Christ. Help us to stand up to the errors and deceptions of our day, so that we, like you, may be willing to give up everything in order to bring Jesus to the world and to help all enter into the heavenly glory that God longs to share with all His Children.  Amen.

       Life Span of the Eyewitnesses of John
Based on Approximate and Commonly Represented Dating (AD)
Numbers on the left are approximate birth date, on the right of line death date

First Person Testimony of Jesus: John the Apostle (highlighted in yellow)
First Person Direct Testimony of John: Widely recognized Disciple of John (red)
Second Person Direct Testimony: Known Disciple of Polycarp (blue)

5-10 Apostle John_______________________________________100
                                  35 Ignatius of Antioch______________________        108
                                                                         69 Polycarp____________________________________                          155
                                                                                                                                                               115 Irenaeus_________________________________                  202

You can read the entire account of his martyrdom here:

If you want to get to know more about Polycarp, you can read one of his epistles here:

Also, the Epistle to Polycarp from St. Ignatius can be found here:

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