Memorial of Saint Polycarp, Bishop and Martyr

Today is the feast of Saint Polycarp, the bishop of Smyrna in the early second century and a man who was martyred for the faith. Saint Polycarp was one of the most illustrious of the apostolic fathers, those who were the immediate disciples of the apostles. His episcopal lineage can be traced through Saint John the evangelist. The legend says that John consecrated Polycarp as Bishop of Symra right before his banishment to Patmos. He formed many holy disciples, among whom were St. Irenaeus and Papias.

Saint Polycarp had to face his martyrdom during the Roman persecution against the Christians. When he was condemned to be burned to death, Polycarp told the persecutor, “You threaten me with a fire which burns for a short time and then goes out, but you are ignorant of the judgment to come and of the fire of everlasting torments which is prepared for the wicked.” Thus, even at the end of his life, St. Polycarp was still hoping to change the mind of his persecutor.

Do you believe a person can change and become a new person? Do you believe that even in times of trial and tribulation, there will be change? What about the chaos in your country and in the world?  Do you believe this can change?

February 23rd, 2017