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Courage Under Fire

Martyrdom of St. Polycarp.

St. Polycarp was a disciple of St. John the Beloved and was the Bishop of Smyrna (present day Izmit, Turkey)

The Romans were pressuring him to apostatize by Cursing Christ. Polycarp heard a voice from Heaven, "Be strong, Polycarp, and act like a man." Polycarp said to the Romans, " Eighty six years I have served Him and He never did me any wrong. How can I blaspheme my King who saved me?

Polycarp was set on fire but the fire did not consume him. The people saw him like a bread that is being baked and they smelled a fragrant aroma like scent of an incense. A Roman soldier was ordered to stab him to death. As he was stabbed, a dove came out flying and his blood extinguished the fire.

Before he was set on fire he said, " this fire will last but a little, while the fire prepared for the wicked will last forever." He then said a prayer, "Father I bless Thee, for having made me worthy of the day and the hour." He died in 155 A.D.

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