Readings & Reflections: Friday of the First Week in Lent & St. Polycarp, February 23,2018
Polycarp was one of the “Apostolic Fathers,” those Fathers of the Church who learned the Faith directly from the Twelve Apostles. In his youth, Polycarp heard the preaching of Saint John. During his years as bishop in Smyrna, he wrote many pastoral letters, only one of which survives, a missive to the faithful at Philippi. According to Saint Jerome, this letter was still being read in the churches of Asia almost three hundred years after Polycarp’s death. Of Polycarp, Saint Irenaeus of Lyons attested, “At all times he taught the things which he had learnt from the Apostles, which the Church transmits, which alone are true.” Polycarp suffered martyrdom around the year 155 A.D.