Polycarp: The Forgotten Apostolic Father

St. Polycarp is a personal hero of mine. We can learn so much from his life, but why is he often overlooked? There are a couple reasons for this, but perhaps the most important is that only one of his writings has survived.

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St. Polycarp Bishop of Smyrna

Importance of Polycarp

St. Polycarp was bishop of Smyrna and live from 69-156 AD. His letter to the Philippians is important because it teaches humility and Christian piety. It is also interesting in that this letter directly quotes Tobit as scripture. In the regard it is important to issues regarding the canon.

Taught by the Apostle John, he was friends with St. Ignatius of Antioch. In fact, the last letter that St. Ignatius was to St. Polycarp. The great Irenaeus, who wrote the great work Against Heresies, was taught and mentored by the great saint.


His martyrdom also carries with it many apologetics applications. The great saint was burned at the stake, but prior to that he showed hospitality to his captors. After his death his bones were collected and venerated on the anniversary of his death.

Below is an interview I did on Hands on Apologetics with Gary Michuta that aired on June 26 on Virgin Most Powerful Radio. Enjoy.

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