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Polycarp

Polycarp of Smyrna (69-155) was a Christian bishop of Smyrna in the first and second centuries. He died a martyr and is generally recognized as a saint in both the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. According to tradition, he was a disciple of John the Evangelist who is identified with one of the first twelve Apostles.

One of Polycarp's disciples was Ignatius of Antioch.

Surviving writings include The Letter of Polycarp to the Philippians. Also surviving is an account of The Martyrdom of Polycarp. English translations of his writings can be found in the Ante-Nicene Fathers.

He is first mentioned in the letters of Ignatius to the Ephesians and to the Magnesians and to Polycarp.

Irenaeus relates how and when he became a Christian and in his letter to Florinus stated that he saw and heard him personally in lower Asia; in particular he heard the account of Polycarp's intercourse with John the Evangelist and with others who had seen Jesus Christ. Irenæus also testifies that Polycarp was converted to Christianity by apostles, made a bishop, and communicated with many who had seen Jesus. He repeatedly emphasizes the very old age of Polycarp.



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