V. Dóminus vobíscum.
R. Et cum spiritu tuo.
Deus, qui nos beáti Polycarpi Martyris tui atque Pontíficis ánnua sollemnitáte lætíficas: concéde propítius; ut, cuius natalítia cólimus, de eiúsdem étiam protectióne gaudeámus.
Per Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum, Filium tuum: qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum.
V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with thy spirit.
Let us pray.
O God, who givest us joy by the annual solemnity of blessed Polycarp, Thy martyr and bishop, mercifully grant that we may rejoice in his protection, whose birthday we celebrate.
Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.
From the Office of Matins:
Ex libro sancti Hierónymi Presbyteri de Scriptóribus ecclesiásticis
Polycárpus, Ioánnis Apóstoli discípulus et ab eo Smyrnæ epíscopus ordinátus, totíus Asiæ princeps fuit, quippe qui nonnúllos Apostolórum et eórum qui víderant Dóminum, magístros habúerit et víderit. Hic propter quasdam super die Paschæ quæstiónes, sub imperatóre Antoníno Pio, Ecclésiam in Urbe regénte Anicéto, Romam venit; ubi plúrimos credéntium, Marciónis et Valentíni persuasióne decéptos, redúxit ad fidem. Cumque ei fortúito óbviam fuísset Márcion et díceret: Cognóscis nos? respóndit: Cognósco primogénitum diáboli. Póstea vero, regnánte Marco Antoníno et Lúcio Aurélio Cómmodo, quarta post Nerónem persecutióne, Smyrnæ, sedénte procónsule et univérso pópulo in amphitheátro advérsus eum personánte, igni tráditus est. Scripsit ad Philippénses valde útilem epístolam, quæ usque hódie in Asiæ convéntu légitur.
V. Tu autem, Dómine, miserére nobis.
R. Deo grátias.
From the Book on Ecclesiastical Writers, composed by St Jerome, Priest at Bethlehem.
Polycarp was a disciple of the Apostle John, and was consecrated by him Bishop of Smyrna. He was reckoned the chief of all the Christians of Asia, because he had been taught by several of the Apostles, and other persons who had seen the Lord. During the reign of the Emperor Antoninus Pius, and while Anicetus presided over the Church of Rome, Polycarp came thither to discuss some questions regarding the time for observing Easter. He found some heretics at Rome, who had been led astray by the doctrine of Marcion and Valentine, and brought back many of them to the faith. One day Marcion met him by accident, and said to him Do you recognise me? whereto he replied I recognise the devil's eldest son. Some time after, in the reign of Mark Antonine and Lucius Aurelius Commodus, during the fourth persecution since Nero, when the Pro-consul was ruling in Smyrna, the whole population being assembled in the theatre, clamoured against Polycarp, and to please them he was burnt. He wrote an extremely useful Epistle to the Philippians, which is publicly read in the Churches of Asia even to this day.
V. But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us.
R. Thanks be to God.