April 2, 2019

Holy Martyr Polycarp of Alexandria

St. Polycarp of Alexandria (Feast Day - April 2)


As a vine-branch of the Lord Polycarp was decapitated,
This greater fruit he brought to Christ.

The Holy Martyr Polycarp lived during the reign of the impious Emperor Maximian (286-305) and was from the city of Alexandria. He was a Christian with much zeal for the Lord, who observed daily those Christians who were imprisoned for their faith in Christ confess with boldness and undergo fearsome torments. This increased his desire to imitate their example.

One day Polycarp saw the local ruler sitting while the blood of Christians flowed like water. Standing before him, he rebuked him, saying: "Why have you forgotten human nature to such an extent, you insatiable dog, and you cut up relatives and people of the same race with the sword like wood, because they proclaim the true God and rebuke the error of idolatry, as I do who am a servant of Christ?"

For this reason the ruler became enraged, and had Polycarp arrested and tortured. Having the name of Christ on his lips till the end, he was finally beheaded, and received in this way the crown of martyrdom.