Friday, January 24, 2014

Prayer for the Recovery of the Relic of St. Polycarp of Smyrna

The martyrdom of St. Polycarp of Smyrna (source)
The following is a beautiful and moving prayer recently written by Metropolitan Ierotheos Vlachos for the return of the Holy Relic of St. Polycarp, recently stolen from the Monastery of Panagia Ampelakiotissa in his Metropolis. St. Polycarp is a great Saint and Apostolic Father of the Church, and he is a special protector and healer of the people of that region. Though the world has and will continue to go through trying times of poverty, disease, etc. the solution is to place our trust in God, not in our own passionate logic, and definitely not by defiling the holy things of Christ's Church. As the Metropolitan reminds us, unless we all turn to repentance for the evil that we have done, we all stand "self-condemned". As St. Polycarp's feast is approaching, may we all pray for his illumination, and that his Right Hand might return to console his saddened people.
Hierarchical Entreaty to God for the uncovering of the stolen Precious Relic of our Father among the Saints, the Hieromartyr Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, the Protector of the Region of Navpaktias.
written by Metropolitan Ierotheos of Navpaktos and Agiou Vlasiou.
O Lord Jesus Christ our God, Who sanctifies those who love You and rests within them, Who sets Your servants as vessels of Your Holy Name, precious members of Your Holy Body, temples of the Holy Spirit, Who loved Your servant and healer Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, granting him the rank of the Archpriesthood and the holy work of martyrdom, Who led the Holy Relic of Your Saint to this Holy Monastery of the Panagia named Ampelakiotissa, for the sanctification of Your people, and has shown this to be a dwelling place of glory and a spring of unemptying wonders, we thank You today, for the Divine Liturgy which we have celebrated, and we glorify Your holy and greatly-hymned Name.

You are the giver of good things and the source of life. You are He Who knows the depths of our hearts. You are He Who enriches us with every spiritual wisdom. You are He Who blesses us, through the intercessions of Your Saint, and placed within this Monastery an inexhaustible treasure, and made us inheritors of the holy Relics of this Apostolic Father. Therefore we hymn You, we bless You, we glorify You, our true God, Who works great, wondrous, glorious and magnificent deeds.

We take confidence, O Master of all, Lord of Heaven and earth, and all creation seen and unseen, that You know the pain of our hearts and our sorrow at the theft that took place in this holy place, for unclean hearts and unholy hands have defiled this Holy Temple, bursting through the doors, and seizing with impudence and deadly heart the all-holy Relic of the most-holy Father, who himself was honored even by the fire [in martyrdom], along with other nations and other faiths throughout the ages. Our heart is made grave at this profane and impious act and deed, truly filled with satanic inbreathing and to please the passions, we have been greatly wounded and vexed. We question in curiosity: What  satanic mind [literally "mind of the morning star"] planned this senseless deed? What purpose was there in defiling the holy dwelling-place of Your glory, of this sanctified relic? What brash hand stole this blessed right hand in insolence and impudence? Who was angry at the love of the people?

Truly, we are aghast before this act of cruelty, mute before this unholy deed and speechless before this satanic activity. Just a few days before, this blessed place, which is sanctified by the presence of Your Holy Mother, the Panagia Ampelakiotissa, and by the grace-bearing right hand of Your holy healer, Polycarp the wondrous, was defiled by wild impulses and barbaric acts, of senseless, thoughtless, impassioned, unholy and deluded men.

Therefore, cast a glance upon this, Your troubled people, and hearken to this prayer. Behold our sorrow and the tears for the loss of the sacred and greatly-loved treasure of our Protector of this Eparchy. Our eyes look upon You, our prayers pour forth from our hearts and rise to You as a sacrifice. Do not despise our prayer and the groaning of our heart.

We entreat You, O Lord our God, to open those unclean hearts and enlighten the darkened and [satanic] mind that worked this defiled and hideous act, that they might awake from the cloud of evil, and return the holy and sacred Relic to its home, in this Holy Monastery. Grant to them to come to know that this act inevitably brings to them to the pit of evil, to sickness of soul and body, and to the tartarus of Hades, to the place of desolation and torture. For it is fitting for those who work such deeds naturally and ethically, to be given to curses and anathemas, because through such a defiling deed they stand self-condemned, unless they repent bitterly, as Your Apostle Peter did upon his betrayal.

Grant to us, O Master of all, O Lord our God, the power to entreat Your healer, the Hieromartyr Polycarp the wondrous.

O Saint Polycarp, the protector of our hearts, come speedily near us, free the precious member of your body from the hands of the unrighteous, lawless, wicked and impious, and dwell newly among us, who love you with our whole heart. You, after God, are our Father and we are your children. We behold your dwelling-place empty, but adorned with our love and washed with our tears. Come, our consolation, our trainer and our benefactor.

O Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, through the intercessions of Your Most-Holy Mother, and the entreaties of the holy Hieromartyr Polycarp, soften the pains of our soul, take away our pain and fulfill our desire, that we might newly behold the right hand of Your Saint, awesome in battle and gladsome to his friends.

For Yours is the glory and the honor and the worship, together with Your Beginningless Father, and Your All-Holy and Good and Life-giving Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Sunday March 17th, the Holy Monastery of Ampelakiotissa.
(amateur translation from source)
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

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