Saturday, February 23, 2008

Polycarp of Smyrna, Pastor and Martyr (Feb. 23)

Born c. 69, Polycarp was a central figure in the early church. A disciple of the evangelist John, he linked the first generation of believers to later Christians. After serving for many years as bishop of Smyrna, Polycarp was arrested, tried and executed for his faith on 23 February ca. 156. An eyewitness narrative of his death, The Martyrdom of Polycarp, continues to encourage believers in times of persecution. [From "Commemorations Biographies," Lutheran Service Book, LCMS Commission on Worship]

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