St. Polycarp (AD 69 – 155) was a Christian martyr and bishop of Smyrna. He died bound and burned at the stake, then stabbed when the fire failed to consume his body. Polycarp is regarded as a saint and Church Father in the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Anglican, and Lutheran churches. Both Irenaeus and Tertullian say that Polycarp had been a disciple of John the Apostle, one of Jesus’ disciples. In On Illustrious Men, Jerome writes that Polycarp was a disciple of John the Apostle and that John had ordained him as a bishop of Smyrna. Polycarp is regarded as one of three chief Apostolic Fathers, along with Clement of Rome and Ignatius of Antioch.
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