Polycarp, Saint


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Polycarp, Saint

(pŏl`ĭkärp), c.A.D. 70–A.D. 156?, Greek bishop of Smyrna, Father of the Church. He was a disciple of St. John, who appointed him bishop. Thus he linked the apostles and such 2d-century Christian expositors as St. IrenaeusIrenaeus, Saint
, c.125–c.202, Greek theologian, bishop of Lyons, and one of the Fathers of the Church. Born in Asia Minor, he was a disciple of St. Polycarp. Irenaeus went to Rome to plead for leniency toward the Montanists (see Montanism) and for those Eastern Christians
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. St. Polycarp was a close friend of St. Ignatius of AntiochIgnatius of Antioch, Saint
, d. c.107, bishop of Antioch and Christian martyr, called Theophorus [Gr.,= God-bearer]. He was probably a convert and a disciple of St. John the Evangelist.
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. As a very old man, Polycarp went to Rome to discuss the problem of dating Easter. He died a martyr in Smyrna. His one surviving work, the Epistle to the Philippians, has been the subject of controversy. Some scholars have maintained that the letter is really two—one written c.115, enclosing St. Ignatius' epistles, and the other written c.135 to warn the Philippians against the teachings of Marcion. He was in his time the mainstay of Christianity in Asia Minor. Feast: Jan. 26.
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