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Smyrna is best known in some circles as the home of the Christian martyr, Polycarp. Discipled by the Apostle John, this faithful pastor gave his life for the Faith. His story is inspiring and should be better known.

When faced with the choice of offering worship to Caesar or being burned at the stake, Polycarp said, Eighty and six years I have served him, and he has done me no wrong. How can I blaspheme my king who saved me?”

“Swear by Caesar’s fortune!”

“You flatter yourself if you hope to persuade me. In all truth I solemnly declare to you: I am a Christian.”

“I have the lions here, to use as I think fit.”

“Give your orders. As for us Christians, when we change it is not from good to bad: it is splendid to pass through evil into God’s justice.”

“If you do not repent I shall have you burned at the stake, since you are so contemptuous of the lions.”

“You threaten me with a fire that burns for an hour and then dies down. But do you know the eternal fire of the justice that is to come? Do you know the punishment that is to devour the ungodly? Come, don’t delay! Do what you want with me”

For a video of Polycarp, click here

For the story of Polycarp, click here.

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