Feast of Saint Polycarp of Smyrna
(c. 69 – 155 A.D.)
St. Polycarp of Smyrna became a Christian in his youth, a disciple of St. John the Evangelist. St. John ordained him Bishop of Smyrna (in modern day Turkey) and from this position Polycarp became one of the most illustrious of the Apostolic Fathers.
His closeness with the Apostles, and the long life that he lived, enabled him to protect the Church against heresy. The account of his martyrdom is well-preserved and is one of the earliest in the Church. Knowing the government was seeking his life, he received a vision while praying that he would be burned alive. After his capture he was encouraged to submit to Caesar in order to be released, but he refused. He was then taken to a public arena to be killed. He gave an outstanding testimony, declaring that he had served Christ for 86 years.
Witnesses of his execution saw the flames surround his body without burning it, and that Polycarp began to glow and emit a sweet aroma. This amazed the crowds, and his executioners were then ordered to stab him to death.
St. Polycarp is the patron saint against dysentery and earache. His feast day is February 23rd.
Credit: http://MorningOffering.com Information herein posted under the "rules of fair use" to foster education and discussion in accordance with Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976.
by Br. John Paul Kern, O.P.
In the Nicene Creed we confess belief in “One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.” When we say that the Church is Apostolic we affirm not only that the Church was Apostolic in its origins but also that she is Apostolic because she preserves and lives the faith that Jesus entrusted to her through the Apostles and their successors—such as St. Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, whose memorial we celebrate today.
For more about this article please visit https://www.dominicanajournal.org/apostolic-faith/.
Credit: excerpt from Apostolic Faith by By Br. John Paul Kern, O.P.|February 23, 2016, Dominicana Journal, https://www.dominicanajournal.org/apostolic-faith/ Information herein posted under the "rules of fair use" to foster education and discussion in accordance with Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976.
LETTER OF THE CHURCH AT SMYRNA CONCERNING THE MARTYRDOM OF THE HOLY POLYCARP
The Martyrdom of Polycarp is the earliest existing account of the capture and death of an early Christian Martyr after St. Stephen. It is an exceptional valuable document since Polycarp is one of the most eminent figures of the 2nd century Church. The letter provides evidence for the honor given to the martyrs and their relics as well as the practice of celebrating the Eucharist at the martyrs grave each year on the anniversary of their martyrdom. This, by the way, is the origin of the many Saints days in the Catholic liturgical calendar.
For the Letter of the Church at Smyrna Concerning the Martyrdom of the Holy Polycarp, please visit https://www.crossroadsinitiative.com/media/articles/theletterofthechurchatsmyrnaconcerningthemartyrdomoftheholypolycarp/.
Credit: Crossroads Initiative; https://www.crossroadsinitiative.com/ Information herein posted under the "rules of fair use" to foster education and discussion in accordance with Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976.
If you think I will swear by the genius of Caesar then you don’t know who I am. Hear me clearly: I am a Christian.”
Saint Polycarp to the Roman Proconsul Statius Quadratus on the occasion of his martyrdom
Though you do not see Him, you believe, and in believing, there is unspeakable joy.”
Help one another with the generosity of the Lord and despise no one. When you have the opportunity to do good, do not let it go by.”
Saint Polycarp, Friend of the apostles, martyr pray for us.
Be not afraid! And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always. Holy Family, pray for us. Amen.