Polycarp (/ˈpɒlikɑːrp/; Greek: Πολύκαρπος, Polýkarpos; Latin: Polycarpus; AD 69 155) was a Christian bishop of Smyrna.[1] According to the Martyrdom of Polycarp, he died a martyr, bound and burned at the stake, then stabbed when the fire failed to consume his body.[2] Polycarp is regarded as a saint and Church Father in the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Catholic, Anglican and Lutheran churches.

Martyr, Church Father and Bishop of Smyrna
BornAD 69
DiedAD 155
Smyrna, Asia, Roman Empire
Venerated inRoman Catholic Church,
Church of the East,
Oriental Orthodox Church,
Eastern Orthodox Church
Eastern Catholic Churches
Anglican Communion,
Lutheran Church
FeastFebruary 23 (formerly January 26)
AttributesWearing the pallium, holding a book representing his Epistle to the Philippians
InfluencesJohn the Apostle
InfluencedIrenaeus (?)
Major worksEpistle of Polycarp to the Philippians

His name means "much fruit" in Greek. Both Irenaeus[3] and Tertullian[4] 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.[5] Polycarp is regarded as one of three chief Apostolic Fathers, along with Clement of Rome and Ignatius of Antioch.