Prayers, Quips and Quotes: St. Polycarp, Feast Day Feb. 23

St. Polycarp
St. Polycarp

The feast day of St. Polycarp is celebrated on Feb. 23.

St. Polycarp was born around the year 70. He is considered an Apostolic Father of the Church because he was an actual disciple of the apostles.

St. Polycarp was a disciple of St. John the Evangelist. He became Bishop of Smyrna, (now Turkey).  He was friends with St. Ignatius of Antioch.


St. Polycarp was martyred for his faith. Three days before his martyrdom, he had a vision in which he saw his pillow on fire. He told his companions he would be burnt alive. St. Polycarp was arrested. When told he must swear allegiance to Caesar, he refused, professing that he was a Christian. He was threatened with death by wild beasts, but still refused. He was 86 years old when he was taken to the Smyrna stadium and an attempt was made to burn him alive in the year 156. The flames did him no harm, and so he was killed by a dagger.

The body of St. Polycarp was ordered to be burned.


“Help one another with the generosity of the Lord,
and despise no one.
When you have the opportunity to do good,
do not let it go by.”

Quote of St. Polycarp


February is the Month of the Passion of the Lord

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