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Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Martyrdom of St Polycarp, circa 155 a.D.

Just to remind you all about this little letter. (God bless Kevin Knight and New Advent.)
The proconsul asked him whether he was Polycarp. On his confessing that he was, [the proconsul] sought to persuade him to deny [Christ], saying, "Have respect to thy old age," and other similar things, according to their custom, [such as]," Swear by the fortune of Caesar; repent, and say, Away with the Atheists." But Polycarp, gazing with a stern countenance on all the multitude of the wicked heathen then in the stadium, and waving his hand towards them, while with groans he looked up to heaven, said, "Away with the Atheists." Then, the proconsul urging him, and saying, "Swear, and I will set thee at liberty, reproach Christ;" Polycarp declared, "Eighty and six years have I served Him, and He never did me any injury: how then can I blaspheme my King and my Saviour?"
The Martyrdom of Polycarp, encyclical letter of the Church at Smyrna
For more reminders about the interesting things about St Polycarp (pupil of St John the Evangelist, e.g.) go here.