The Saints


St Polycarp

In the year 155 A.D. in the sports stadium of Smyrna in Asia Minor, St Polycarp, the 86-year old Bishop of Smyrna, died as a martyr for Our Blessed Lord.  St Polycarp had been taught the Christian Faith by no less a person than St John the Apostle himself.  The Christians who were present at the time wrote an account of his holy courage.

Capture of Polycarp

Polycarp was captured in a house not far from the city.  He arranged for his pursuers to be given food and drink and asked them to allow him an hour in prayer undisturbed before they left for the city.  When he had finished praying, they put him on an ass to take him to the stadium.  On the way, Herod and his father took him into their chariot and tried to persuade him to deny Our Lord, saying, “What harm is there in saying, ‘Lord Caesar’, and in sacrificing…and so gain safety?”  When Polycarp refused to be persuaded, they threw him roughly out of the chariot.

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