A Prayer to the North American Martyrs (Feast, September 26) Dear Saints Isaac Jogues, John Brebeuf, Noel Chabanel, Gabriel Lalemant, Anthony Daniel, Charles Garnier, Rene Goupil and John Lalande, we beg of you, pray for the people of this vast country ours. You are the first canonized saints of the United States and Canada. We are glad to have you. We are happy to honor you. You know our country and its needs, and we know you are in heaven praying for us. There is one very special favor we wish to ask of you. Dear Saints of North America, pray God to send us another saint, or better still, a number of them. Ask Him to have soon–a man or a woman, a boy or a girl from this country of ours raised to the honors of the altar. Let it be a farmer or a laborer, a housewife or a schoolboy, born and bred in these United States. Let it be some one who lived his whole life here–a Saint Joseph of Carville County, or a Saint Mary of Middletown, or a Saint William of New York. We do not wish to displace you in our affections, but to add to your glorious number. You understand our desires in this, and we feel sure that we will obtain this great blessing for the salvation of the people of this land. Remember us now, and obtain this great blessing for us from God. Help us always to cooperate with the graces that God so richly and generously gives us, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Saint Polycarp Prayers Saint Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna and a disciple of the apostles, was burned at the stake about the year 155. His feast day is February 23. This is the prayer he prayed before he died: Lord, almighty God, Father of your beloved and blessed Son Jesus Christ, through whom we have come to the knowledge of yourself, God of angels, of powers, of all creation, of all the race of saints who live in your sight, I bless you for judging me worthy of this day, this hour, so that in the company of the martyrs I may share the cup of Christ, your anointed one, and so rise again to eternal life in soul and body, immortal through the power of the Holy Spirit. May I be received among the martyrs in your presence today as a rich and pleasing sacrifice. God of truth, stranger to falsehood, you have prepared this and revealed it to me and now you have fulfilled your promise. I praise you for all things, I bless you, I glorify you through the eternal priest of heaven, Jesus Christ, your beloved Son. Through him be glory to you, together with him and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen. Here is a prayer the Church prays concerning Saint Polycarp: God of all creation, you gave your bishop Polycarp the privilege of being counted among the saints who gave their lives in faithful witness to the gospel. May his prayers give us the courage to share with him the cup of suffering and to rise to eternal glory. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.