23 Feb 2019
MEMORIAL OF POLYCARP, BISHOP AND MARTYR
Living memory

We can be sure that the practice of venerating the relics of saints began very early in the church. The first evidence for it comes from a letter dated around 150 A.D. concerning the martyrdom of Polycarp. The letter relates that following Polycarp’s execution the Romans refused the Christians his body, deciding rather to burn it. The Christians then gathered together his bones, church fathers related, “being more precious than the most exquisite jewels, and more purified than gold.” They put these bones in a place of distinction where they would gather together and revere them, especially on the anniversary of Polycarp’s martyrdom. Remember the sacrifices of Christian martyrs and give yourself wholeheartedly to a life of faith.

Today's readings:

Hebrews 11:1-7; Mark 9:2-13 (340).

“They kept the matter to themselves, questioning what rising from the dead meant.”