Some Awesome People

Saturday, February 23, 2013

St. Polycarp

(AD 69 - AD 155)

Lent: February 23



St. Polycarp of Smyrna was converted to Christianity by St. John the Evangelist. He was a disciple of the apostles and friend of St. Ignatius of Antioch. He was ordained bishop of Smyrna (now Izmir, Turkey), and was about eighty-six when the Roman pro-consul urged him to renounce Christ and save his life. St. Polycarp said, "For eighty-six years, I have served Him and He has never wronged me. How can I renounce the King who has saved me?" He suffered martyrdom in 155 by burning at the stake in the amphitheater of Smyrna.




St. Polycarp of Smyrna


Polycarp had known those who had known Jesus, and was a disciple of St. John the Apostle, who had converted him around the year 80 AD. He taught, says his own pupil Irenaeus of Lyons, the things that he learned from the Apostles, which the Church hands down, which are true. Irenaeus, who as a young boy knew Polycarp, praised his gravity, holiness, and majesty of countenance. He had lived near Jerusalem and was proud of his early associations with the Apostles.

Polycarp became bishop of Smyrna and held the see for about 70 years. He was a staunch defender of orthodoxy and an energetic opponent of heresy, especially Marcionism and Valentinianism (the most influential of the Gnostic sects). Toward the end of his life, he visited Pope St. Anicetus in Rome, and when they could not agree on a date for Easter, decided each would observe his own date. To testify his respect and ensure that the bonds of charity were unbroken, Anicetus invited Polycarp to celebrate the Eucharist in the papal chapel on this occasion.

Polycarp suffered martyrdom with 12 others of his flock around the year 156.

­Excerpted from St. Polycarp, Bishop and Martyr by Fr. Paul Haffner (Inside the Vatican, February 2004)

http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2013-02-23

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comments make our day brighter! Please keep them pure and nice. :D