6 Profound Facts about St. Polycarp & His Legacy
St. Polycarp was a student of St. John the Apostle, became an early bishop of the church and is now considered a Church Father that has helped to mold and shape the very nature of Christianity for the past 2,000 years.
Get cozy, grab your cuppa coffee and take a few minutes to reflect with me about this amazing character who helped so much in the formation of our sacred faith.
Who is St. Polycarp?
St. Polycarp was a beloved bishop and writer of the early Christian church. Born in Smyrna, Asia Minor in the early second century, St. Polycarp was made the bishop of Smyrna by the actual apostles. How cool is that? He was known for his humility and wisdom, and his pastoral care of the church in his region was greatly respected by both clergy and laity alike. His writings have also survived to this day, providing us with valuable insights into the beliefs and practices of the early church. (CatholicNewsAgency)
How did St. Polycarp witness Christianity?
St. Polycarp was a shining example of Christian witness in his lifetime. As bishop of Smyrna, he was entrusted with the care of the church in his region, and he served his congregation with great love and dedication. He was also a defender of the faith, and he spoke out against the heresy of Marcionism that was spreading throughout the church.
Polycarp ‘s close association with the apostles themselves helped to preserve the teachings and traditions of the early church. As a disciple of the apostle John, Saint Polycarp was able to pass down the wisdom and teachings of the apostles to future generations of Christians. (Fransiscan Media)
What is the martyrdom of St. Polycarp?
St. Polycarp’s martyrdom was a powerful example of his unwavering faith in the face of persecution. During a time when the Roman Empire was persecuting Christians, Polycarp was arrested and brought before the Roman governor. The governor demanded that St. Polycarp renounce his faith and swear allegiance to the Roman gods, but Polycarp refused, saying, “For eighty-six years I have served Christ, and he has never done me any wrong. How can I blaspheme my King who saved me?”
Despite threats of torture and death, Saint Polycarp remained steadfast in his faith. On the day of his execution, he was taken to the stake to be burned alive. As the flames were lit, he prayed, “Lord God Almighty, Father of your beloved and blessed Son Jesus Christ, through whom we have received knowledge of you, God of angels and powers, of the whole creation and of the whole race of the righteous who live in your sight, I bless you for counting me worthy of this day and hour, that I should have a part in the number of your martyrs.”
Where are the relics of St. Polycarp?
The relics of St Polycarp are believed to be in two locations. The Church of St Polycarp in Smyrna, which was built in the sixth century, was constructed on the site where St. Polycarp was martyred. His remains were said to have been buried there. In 1679, a group of Franciscan friars visited Smyrna and claimed to have found the relics of Saint Polycarp. The relics were then transferred to Rome and are now housed in the Basilica of San Carlo al Corso.
How to make a Pilgrimage to see St. Polycarp
Going on a pilgrimage to see St. Polycarp would be a soulful quest to seek out the sacred spaces that carry the memory of this holy figure is a noble and beautiful endeavor.
First and foremost, it is important to prepare yourself for the journey ahead. Take some time to reflect on your intentions and offer prayers for a safe and meaningful pilgrimage. You may also wish to research the history and significance of Smyrna and Saint Polycarp to deepen your understanding of the place you will be visiting.
Next, consider the practicalities of travel. Look into visa requirements, transportation options, and accommodation. To see Saint Polycarp in Smyrna,which is not modern day Izmir, Turkey, I highly recommend that you check out HERE on Tripadvisor.com to see all of the amazing Churches and Hotels nearby his remains.
You’ll want to visit Izmir, Turkey to connect with the life of Saint Polycarp.
However, his actual remains which hold significant power are kept in a guarded tomb in the church Sant’ Ambrogio della Massima in Rome, Italy.
Both places would be incredible to visit based on your travel desires. It may be helpful to consult with a travel agent or guide to ensure a smooth and stress-free journey, or you can book things yourself like I like to do.
As you prepare for your pilgrimage, remember to cultivate an open and humble heart. You will be entering a sacred space, and it is important to approach it with reverence and respect. Take time to meditate and reflect on what you hope to gain from this experience, and be open to the lessons that may present themselves to you.
Finally, remember that the pilgrimage does not end when you return home. It is a lifelong journey of spiritual growth and transformation. Carry the wisdom and inspiration you gain from your visit to Smyrna with you always, and continue to seek out the sacred spaces that nourish your soul.
I absolutely adore traveling and traveling to see the saints is an even more incredible experience.
In the past, I have used booking.com, agoda.com, and expedia.com to book my flights, car rental, and hotel stay. These sites make it so easy to do this sort of thing yourself and it’s nice not to have to go through a travel agent but to have all of that important detail right in your email inbox.
I also found really cool stuff for you to do in Smyrna when you go on your pilgrimage to get the best experience out of your travel. You can check that out HERE or by clicking on the picture below.
What are some Famous Quotes by Saint Polycarp?
- “Stand fast, therefore, in this conduct and follow the example of the Lord, ‘firm and unchangeable in faith, lovers of the brotherhood, loving each other, united in truth,’ helping each other with the mildness of the Lord, despising no man.”
- “For every one who shall not confess that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is antichrist; and whosoever shall not confess the testimony of the Cross, is of the devil; and whosoever shall pervert the oracles of the Lord to his own lusts, and say that there is neither a resurrection nor a judgment, he is the first-born of Satan.”
- “Let us therefore persevere in our faith and our earnest and unchangeable love, in our hope and in the discipline and holiness which is pleasing to God, and be kind to one another, and compassionate, forgiving one another as God in Christ forgave us.”
- “I exhort you all, therefore, to yield obedience to the word of righteousness, and to exercise all patience, such as you have seen [set] before your eyes, not only in the case of the blessed Ignatius, and Zosimus, and Rufus, but also in others among yourselves, and in Paul himself, and the rest of the apostles.”
- “Let us then continually persevere in our hope, and the earnest of our righteousness, which is Jesus Christ, who bore our sins in his own body on the tree, who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth.”
I’ve created a pretty great shirt for you with one of my favorite lines by Saint Polycarp because I’m so inspired by the saints.
These shirts are fantastic because they provide a quick method to introduce the topic of saints and tell the tale of St. Polycarp to friends, family, or complete strangers you meet in public. This is a simple approach to spread the message that Jesus is the blood sacrifice who descended from heaven to atone for our sins and that we all need a savior.
You may even extend an invitation to them and assist them in signing up for your church’s RCIA programs.
About this, I’m praying for you!
Below is the shirt. Just click on it. Choose the best color for you and your perfect size and then click on the BUY NOW button to be taken to the check out page.
What is St. Polycarp the patron saint of?
St. Polycarp is the patron saint of Smyrna, the city where he lived and served as bishop. He is also the patron saint of candle-makers, because of his association with fire, which was used in his martyrdom. Additionally, he is the patron saint of those who suffer from earaches, because he was said to have healed a young boy who was suffering from an earache.
Saint Polycarp’s life and witness continue to inspire and guide Christians around the world. His courageous stand for his faith, his pastoral care, and his close association with the apostles serve as an example for all who seek to follow in the footsteps of Christ.
Saint Polycarp was not only an inspiration to his contemporaries but also to future generations of Christians. His unwavering faith and steadfast devotion to God continue to inspire many believers in the modern era. His writings, which include letters and sermons, are still studied and are a significant resource for those seeking to understand the teachings and practices of the early church.
One of the most significant aspects of St. Polycarp’s witness was his close association with the apostles, who were the first to spread the teachings of Christ after his death and resurrection. Polycarp was a disciple of the apostle John and was present when the apostle wrote his Gospel. This connection allowed Polycarp to pass on the wisdom and teachings of the apostles to future generations of Christians, ensuring that the early church’s traditions were preserved.
Saint Polycarp’s martyrdom, as well as his life, is celebrated by the Christian church on his feast day, February 23rd. On this day, the faithful remember the life and legacy of this great bishop, writer, and martyr. In many churches, services are held in his honor, and his writings are read and studied.
St. Polycarp’s patronage of Smyrna, candle-makers, and those who suffer from earaches has an interesting history. Smyrna was the city where Saint Polycarp was bishop, and it was also the site of his martyrdom. Candle-makers were associated with St. Polycarp because, during his martyrdom, a great fire was lit to burn him at the stake.
However, the flames refused to consume him, leading his executioners to eventually kill him with a sword. This miraculous event is often depicted in art with St. Polycarp surrounded by flames but unharmed. The patronage of earaches comes from a story that, during a visit to a home, St. Polycarp healed a young boy who was suffering from an earache.
In conclusion, St. Polycarp was a beloved bishop, writer, and martyr of the early Christian church. His unwavering faith, his pastoral care, and his close association with the apostles make him an essential figure in Christian history. His writings and teachings provide valuable insights into the beliefs and practices of the early church, and his example serves as a model for Christians today.
His relics are believed to be in two locations, the Church of St. Polycarp in Smyrna, and the Basilica of San Carlo al Corso in Rome. He is the patron saint of Smyrna, candle-makers, and those who suffer from earaches. His feast day is celebrated on February 23rd, and he is remembered and honored for his life and legacy.
Are You Inspired?
Are the lessons you’ve learnt today motivating you? I enjoy discussing the saints’ life. Visit our blog HERE for more commendable saints! You could study World War 1 saints like Saint Maria Bertilla Boscardin or a woman who was captured into slavery, became a nun and is now a saint like St Josephine of Bakhita, for instance.
You can join us every day as we discover more about the Saint of the Day, did you know that. Please take a moment to sign up for my daily saint emails, which will be sent directly to your inbox. I make it brief because I realize people are busy, but I also want you to learn a lot so you can live like a saint like I do.
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Well, that’s all for today.
I’ll see you back tomorrow with another Saint of the Day to inspire you!
God bless you,