Happy Saint Polycarp Day! His name means “many fruits.” I always thought it meant “many fish.” Speaking of fish, we reached our limit for the Carry-out Fish Fry. Thank you very much for your support! Remember, we will have another one on March 26th.
Saint Polycarp lived in the 2nd century. He was a disciple of Saint John the Evangelist. So, he was a second generation Christian. Saint Polycarp knew people who had known Jesus! Saint John appointed him bishop of Smyrna, which is now Izmir, in Turkey. He served as bishop for a long time. As bishop, he faced many challenges because Christians were a minority in Smyrna. Also, he faced difficulties with a bunch of false Christian teachers. Around the year 155, a great pagan festival took place, and Romans were hunting Christians so they could sacrifice them. Saint Polycarp went into hiding, but the Roman Police found him. When they discovered his hiding place, Saint Polycarp offered them a meal. What hospitality! He was then taken to the Smyrna stadium and was martyred there. Saint Polycarp’s remains are entombed in Saint Ambrose Church in Rome.
A fun fact about Saint Polycarp is that the grace we say before a meal is attributed to him. If you are ever on Jeopardy, this might come in handy. God bless and stay safe!
Fr. Steve Breck
Pastor, St. Mary Magdalene