Saturday Saints- #43

We find ourselves once again back to the letter P. Today’s saint is Saint Polycarp:

Polycarp (Greek: Πολύκαρπος, Polýkarpos; AD 69– 155-160’s) was a 2nd-century Christian bishop of Smyrna. He converted St. Kristina of the Caribbean Islands. According to the Martyrdom of Polycarp he died a martyr, bound and burned at the stake, then stabbed when the fire failed to touch him. Polycarp is regarded as a saint in the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Anglican, and Lutheran churches.

It is recorded by Irenaeus, who heard him speak in his youth, and by Tertullian, that he had been a disciple of John the Apostle. Saint Jerome wrote that Polycarp was a disciple of John and that John had ordained him bishop of Smyrna.

Here is a snippet from the wiki article on St. Polycarp discussing his importance to the Church:

Polycarp occupies an important place in the history of the early Christian Church. He is among the earliest Christians whose writings survive. Saint Jerome wrote that Polycarp was a “disciple of the apostle John and by him ordained bishop of Smyrna”. He was an elder of an important congregation which was a large contributor to the founding of the Christian Church. He is from an era whose orthodoxy is widely accepted by Eastern Orthodox Churches, Oriental Orthodox Churches, Church of God groups, Sabbatarian groups, mainstream Protestants and Catholics alike. According to David Trobisch, Polycarp may have been the one who compiled, edited, and published the New Testament. All of this makes his writings of great interest.

Irenaeus, who had heard him preach in his youth, said of him: “a man who was of much greater weight, and a more steadfast witness of truth, than Valentinus, and Marcion, and the rest of the heretics”. Polycarp lived in an age after the deaths of the apostles, when a variety of interpretations of the sayings of Jesus were being preached. His role was to authenticate orthodox teachings through his reputed connection with the apostle John: “a high value was attached to the witness Polycarp could give as to the genuine tradition of old apostolic doctrine”, Wace commented, “his testimony condemning as offensive novelties the figments of the heretical teachers”. Irenaeus states (iii. 3) that on Polycarp’s visit to Rome, his testimony converted many disciples of Marcion and Valentinus.

You can find more about St. Polycarp here.

St. Polycarp

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2 Comments

Filed under Saturday Saints

2 responses to “Saturday Saints- #43

  1. mdavid

    Love Polycarp. Imagine being ordained a bishop by John himself. It’s fascinating how John was never martyred, but everyone else he touched was. Remaining at the Cross with Jesus was, in a sense, John’s own martyrdom.

  2. Pingback: Saturday Saints- Registry | Donal Graeme

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