Polycarp was the Bishop of Smyrna, author of the Epistle to the Philippians, and a Christian martyr. He died about 155 CE.

The primary sources of information for Polycarp are: (1) the Epistles of St. Ignatius; (2) St. Polycarp's Epistle to the Philippians; (3) passages in St. Irenaeus; (4) the Letter of the Smyrnaeans recounting the martyrdom of St. Polycarp.

Four out of the seven genuine epistles of St. Ignatius were written from Smyrna; in two of these — Magnesians and Ephesians — he speaks of Polycarp. The seventh Epistle was addressed to Polycarp but contains little or nothing of historical interest in connexion with St. Polycarp. In the opening words St. Ignatius gives glory to God "that it hath been vouchsafed to me to see thy face".


Article Info

Title Polycarp
Last UpdatedJanuary 31, 2021
MLA Citation “Polycarp.” 31 Jan. 2021. Web. Accessed 24 Jul. 2021. <>