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Here is a brief biography of Saint Polycarp:
Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, disciple of Saint John the Apostle and friend of
Saint Ignatius of Antioch, was a revered Christian leader during the first half of the
second century. Saint Ignatius, on his way to Rome to be martyred, visited Polycarp at
Smyrna, and later at Troas wrote him a personal letter. The Asia Minor Churches
recognized Polycarp’s leadership by choosing him as a representative to discuss with
Pope Anicetus the date of the Easter celebration in Rome—a major controversy in the
early Church. Only one of the many letters written by Polycarp has been preserved, the
one he wrote to the Church of Philippi in Macedonia. At 86, Polycarp was led into the
crowded Smyrna stadium to be burned alive. The flames did not harm him and he was
finally killed by a dagger. The centurion ordered the saint’s body burned. The “Acts” of
Polycarp’s martyrdom are the earliest preserved, fully reliable account of a Christian
martyr’s death. He died in 155.
May God continue to grace you with many blessings; may Our Blessed Mother and Saint
Polycarp guide you to Our Lord Jesus. Be assured of our prayers for you and your loved ones.
Father Viet Peter Ho