My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ God,
CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE.
HOLY HIEROMARTYR POLYKARPOS (POLYCARP), BISHOP
OF SMYRNA (Part II)
Apolytikion (Dismissal) Hymn. Fourth Tone
As a sharer of the ways and a successor to the throne of the Apostles,
O inspired of God, thou fondest discipline to be a means of ascent
to divine vision. Wherefore, having rightly divided the word of truth,
thou didst also contest for the Faith even unto blood, O Hieromartyr
Polykarpos. Intercede with Christ our God that our souls be saved.
Kontakion Hymn. First Tone
Through godly virtues, thou broughtest forth for the Lord God
much spiritual fruit, O thou most blessed Hierarch, and so didst
prove worthy of God thy Lord, O wise Polykarpos. Wherefore,
on this day we who have all been enlightened through thy holy
words extol thy praiseworthy memory and glorify Christ the Lord.
Saint Polykarpos was an old man full of days when the 5th Persecution was raised against the Christians under Marcus Aurelius. When his pursuers, sent by the ruler, found Polykarpos, he commanded that they be given something to eat and drink, then asked them to give him an hour to pray; he stood and prayed, full of grace, for two hours, so that his captors repented that they had come against so venerable a man. He was brought by the Proconsul of Smyrna into the stadium and was commanded, "Swear by the fortune of Caesar; repent, and say, Away with the atheists." By atheists, the Proconsul meant the Christians. But Saint Polykarpos, gazing at the heathen in the stadium, waved his hand towards them and said: "I have been serving Christ for eighty-six years, and He has wronged me in nothing; how can I blaspheme my King Who has saved me?" But the tyrant became enraged at these words and commanded that he be cast into the fire, and thus he gloriously expired about the year A.D. 163. As Efsevius (Eusebius) says, "Polykarpos everywhere taught what he had also learned from the Apostles, which also the Church has handed down, and this alone is true".
Epistle to the Philippians
The Epistle of Saint Polykarpos to the Philippians was written in reply to a communication from the Philippians, who had invited him to address words of exhortation to them. Saint Polykarpow writes to them: "Let us be zezlous in the pursuit of that which is good, keeping ourselves from causes of offense, from false brethren, and from those who in hypocrisy bear the name of the Lord and draw away vain men and error…Therefore, forsake the vanity and the false dctrines of the many; let us return to the word which has been handed down to us from the beginning…Let us then be imitators of Jesus’ patience. And if we shoul suffer for His name’s sake, let us glorify Him. For He has set us this example in Himself. …Stand fast, therefore, in these things, and follow the example of the Lord, being firm and unchangeable in the Faith, loving the brotherhood, and being attached to one another, joined together in the Truth, exhibiting the meekness of the Lord in your intercourse with one another, and despising no one. When you casn do good, defer it not, because ‘almsgiving doth deliver from death’ (Tobit 4:10; 12:9)…". (Source: The Great Synaxaristes of the Orthodox Church)
"Glory Be To GOD
– Saint John Chrysostomos
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With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia (Ministry),
The sinner and unworthy servant of God