January 26, 2025
An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 26 of January, repeating indefinitely
A disciple of St. John, who appointed him bishop of Smyrna, St. Polycarp was condemned to the stake in 156 at the age of eighty-six. He accepted martyrdom with peace and joy of soul. The account of his arrest and suffering speaks of his admirable calm and of the veneration in which the Christians of Smyrna held their aged bishop; it is one of the most beautiful documents left to us from Christian antiquity. The passage in which his master, St. John, recalling the Savior’s love makes the laying down of one’s life the mark of the true Christian, is a perfect choice for the Epistle of St. Polycarp’s Mass (1 John 3. 10-16).