New Catholic Dictionary – Saint Polycarp

Saint Polycarp of Smyrna from 'Pictorial Lives of the Saints'Derivation

  • Greek: much fruit


Born c.69; died in 166. Bishop of Smyrna; one of the Apostolic fathers; martyrs. He embraced Christianity under the guidance of the Apostles, especially of Saint John the Evangelist by whom he was elevated to the See of Smyrna. He was a bitter foe to heresy and upon his visit to Rome, c.154, where he conferred with Pope Saint Anicetus on the question of the date of the Easter celebratiov, he made numerous converts. His only extant work is his reply to the Philippians. Polycarp’s Acts are the earliest record of martyrdom for Christianity. The persecution of Marcus Aurelius being prevalent in the East, c. 166, Polycarp was seized, and professing his Faith, despite the opportunity which Herod offered to save his life, was burned and then speared. Relics in San Ambrogio in Massina, Rome. Feast, Roman Calendar, 26 January.

MLA Citation

  • “Saint Polycarp”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 11 August 2018. Web. 16 February 2019. <>