Saint Polycarp was a disciple of Saint John the Theologian, the apostle and author of the New Testament books of John and Revelation. He was ordained by Saint John as the fifth bishop of Smyrna in Asia Minor.
He suffered in the persecutions of Marcus Aurelius and died a martyr at the age of 86, after refusing to deny Christ before the Proconsul of Smyrna. Saint Polycarp's epistle to the Philippians is preserved in the writings of Saint Irenaeus of Lyons.
He is commemorated by all Christians on February 23.