Saint of the Day 23rd February 2022, We celebrate Saint Polycarp of Smyrna
Saint Polycarp of Smyrna
Associate of, converted by, and disciple of Saint John the Apostle. Friend of Saint Ignatius of Antioch and Saint Papias; spiritual teacher of Saint Irenaeus of Lyon. Fought Gnosticism. Bishop of Smyrna (modern Izmir, Turkey). Revered Christian leader during the first half of the second century.
The Asia Minor churches recognized Polycarp’s leadership and chose him representative to Pope Anicetus on the question the date of the Easter celebration. Only one of the many letters written by Polycarp has survived, the one he wrote to the Church of Philippi, Macedonia.
At 86, Polycarp was to be burned alive in a stadium in Smyrna; the flames did not harm him and he was finally killed by a dagger, and his body burned. The Acts of Polycarp’s martyrdom are the earliest preserved reliable account of a Christian martyr’s death.