Feast of St Polycarp of Smyrna, Bishop and Martyr


St Polycarp, picture of true Catholic manliness, pray for us!

I love St Polycarp. This courageous Bishop of Smyrna (present day Izmir, Turkey) led his flock with grace and integrity. He taught them to hold fast to the Faith, particularly to the Eucharist. This disciple of John led by example, even unto his martyrdom.

I encourage you to read his letters. They are a major reason I am Catholic today. St Polycarp showed me the first century Church that we see blossoming in the book of Acts. He made me question my presuppositions regarding authority, worship, and sacraments.

His greatest lesson to me, however, is his resilience. Polycarp, at age 86, would not give in to the smallest concession to the false gods of the Roman Empjre. No, he stood strong, facing their threats with gusto, and even a little “ain’t skeert” swagger. Read the accounts of his martyrdom.

St Polycarp, you are the man. Thank you for opening my eyes to see the Church you love so much and our heavenly feast in the Eucharist. Pray for us.

About Tactical Catholic

Catholic husband, dad, and convert to the Catholic Faith. A Catholic layman doing his part to strengthen Catholic men for their vocation.

Posted on February 23, 2015, in Catholic Belief, Catholic Convert, Catholic Manliness, Personal Witness, Saints and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Never done it, but I’ll give it a shot. Let’s talk…


  2. Funny you should bring up Polycarp. I was just talking about him yesterday morning at the Light of the World retreat. Since Christianity was originally, and in my opinion better, called The Way, and a Way is a road forward, I gave the retreatants Polycarp’s 10 Rules of the Road…

    Be steadfast and immovable in the faith
    Love the brotherhood
    Cherish one another
    Be united in the truth
    Give precedence to one another
    Despise no one
    When able to do a work of charity, don’t put it off
    One and all, submit to each other’s rights
    Make your life beyond reproach
    By your good example, the Lord will not be blasphemed

    That last one is pretty powerful, if you think about it.

    (rules excerpted from the Epistle to the Philippians)


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