23 February 2008

Commemoration of St. Polycarp

Today our Synod commemorates Saint Polycarp. From our Synod's website:

February 23
Polycarp of Smyrna, Pastor and Martyr

Born c. 69, Polycarp was a central figure in the early church. A disciple of the evangelist John, he linked the first generation of believers to later Christians. After serving for many years as bishop of Smyrna, Polycarp was arrested, tried, and executed for his faith on February 23, c. 156. An eyewitness narrative of his death, The Martyrdom of Polycarp, continues to encourage believers in times of persecution.

And from the Brotherhood Prayer Book:

Precious in the sight of the Lord; Is the death of His saints.
Jesus Christ the same; Yesterday, today and forever.

Almighty God, who didst give Thy servant Polycarp boldness to confess the Name of our Savior Jesus Christ before the rulers of this world, and courage to die for this faith: Grant that we likewise may ever be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in us, and to suffer gladly for His sake; through the same, Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen. (BPB)

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