St Polycarp (69 – 155) was a disciple of St John the Apostle who appointed him Bishop of Smyrna, Turkey.
Influenced by the preaching of the Apostles, St Polycarp converted to Christianity soon after Jesus’ death. As a community elder, he exerted an important role in the spread of Christianity by convincing many of his original followers, in addition to numerous others, to follow Jesus’ Gospel.
His only remaining writing is “Polycarp’s Letter to the Philippians” contained in Irenaeus’ account of Polycarp’s life.
On a return journey from Rome, St Polycarp was martyred for his faith and teaching of Christianity, ‘bound and burned at the stake, then stabbed when the fire failed to touch him’. A further twelve companions were also martyred with him.
St Polycarp’s Feast Day is 23rd February. His Patronages include ear-ache and dysentery.
Pray for us that we will find only love wherever we travel.
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