Patricia Kelley (March 11 1957 / Oklahoma)
Polycarp the Martyr
Polycarp was his name.
He lived a life without shame.
He was tossed into the stadium.
His only offense was confessing to be a Christian.
Surrounded by the chants of the loud people,
Feed him to the hungry lions.
He felt no alliance.
The crowd was as hungry as the hungry lions.
They were eager to see the sport.
To watch the lions tear him apart.
Demanding lions be set loose; upon Polycarp the martyr.
Then a shout came burn Polycarp alive.
Hearing the Angel’s harp!
Seeing the vision of a burning pillow.
Turning and looking at the eager crowd,
He said. I must be burned alive.
He then stripped his clothes.
This is the death he chose.
He didn’t even need to be nailed to the grid.
He was no kid.
He began to pray.
O’ Father of your beloved Son, Jesus Christ, through whom we know you, I bless you for this day and hour, that I may, with the martyrs, share in the cup of Christ for the resurrection to eternal life of both soul and body in the immortality of the Holy Spirit. May I be received among them today as a rich and acceptable sacrifice, according to your divine fulfillment. For this reason I praise you for everything. I bless and glorify you through the eternal high priest, Jesus Christ, your beloved Son, through whom be glory to you and the Holy Spirit, both now and in the ages to come. Amen.
When he had finished praying the fire was lit.
It is said.
There was a great blaze.
It took the shape of a room.
There was no stench it smelled as expensive perfume.
The scent was sweet smelling as spices.
It was the scent of the righteous.
There around his body was a billowing sail.
That surrounded the martyr’s body.
When the crowd saw that no pain was reaching his body.
They cried out for the executioner to cut him with the sword.
When he did so, the blood gushed out and put the fire out.
The crowd became divided by believers and unbelievers.
That day there were many receivers of the faith.
They gathered his bones as precious stones.
To be buried in a special place where all could celebrate such martyrdom.
It was spread throughout the kingdom.
Polycarp the martyr faced the fire freely.
He was the twelfth martyr to die after the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
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