Who is Saint Polycarp of Smyrna

Saint Polycarp of Smyrna

Patron: Against Earaches

Polycarp was a disciple of St. John the Apostle, who had converted Polycarp around the year 80 AD.

He had lived near Jerusalem and was proud of his early associations with the Apostles. He preached and spoke often about learning from the Apostles who saw the Lord.

Polycarp became bishop of Smyrna and held the seat for about 70 years. Polycarp was one of the most glorious martyrs of Christian antiquity.

Toward the end of his life he visited Pope St. Anicetus in Rome and, when they could not agree on a date for Easter, decided each would observe his own date.

To testify his respect and ensure that the bonds of charity were unbroken, Anicetus invited Polycarp to celebrate the Eucharist in the papal chapel on this occasion.

Polycarp suffered martyrdom with 12 others of his flock around the year 156.

—Excerpted from St. Polycarp, Bishop and Martyr by Fr. Paul Haffner (Inside the Vatican, February 2004)

“At Smyrna, the death of St. Polycarp. Under Marcus Antoninus and Lucius Aurelius Commodus, he was brought before the tribunal of the proconsul; and when all the people in the amphitheater cried out against him, he was handed over to be burned to death. But since the fire caused him no harm, he was put to death by the sword. Thus he gained the crown of martyrdom. With him, twelve other Christians, who came from Philadelphia, met death by martyrdom in the same city.”

Excerpted from The Church’s Year of Grace, Pius Parsch.

Patron: Against earache