He was born at Ephesus around the year 70. He was the spiritual teacher of St. Irenaeus of Lyons, and the writings of Saint Iraneus, he knew the Apostles who had seen Christ in person. St. Polycarp was himself a disciple of Saint John the Theologian, who in his Book of Revelation (2:10) relays this message of Jesus Christ to the church of which he was bishop for many decades: “You are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you… Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life”. He suffered, like many other members of his flock, remained faithful and won eternal glory in Christ.
As a martyr for his faith, he followed in the footsteps of his parents who also died for Christ and left him an orphan. A pious woman named Callista was his guardian. The boy grew up as a devout Christian and performed his first miracle as a child. On many occasions, he would give away all the food in the cupboard to the poor, but each time, the supplies were replaced. Seeing that, his guardian gave him the name Polycarpus, translating as “much fruit” (his given name was Pancratius).
As bishop of Smyrna for over five decades, he preached faithfully the word of Christ and guarded the purity of His teaching. He left a legacy of theological writings, including his correspondence with Saint Ignatius of Antioch and Pope Anacletus.
In the mid-second century, a new bout of the persecution of Christians began in Asia Minor. The saint had predicted his martyrdom and was waiting calmly for the Roman Governor's men to come and take him captive. They came in the evening of the Holy Friday. He welcomed them as guests, invited them to share his meal at the table. The men allowed him two hours to pray before they took him away, reluctantly and with remorse. When they delivered him to the governor and he offered him to renounce Christ and spare his life, the saint answered: 'For eighty-six years I have been his servant, and he has wronged me in nothing; how can I blaspheme my King and Savior?' The governor sent him to die at the stake.
When the executioner put him on a pyre and started the fire, flames rose around him like a curtain, and he was standing in the middle glowing like gold. Seeing that the fire was not harming the saint, the executioners struck him with their swords, and his blood extinguished the fire as he surrendered his soul to the Lord.
On the 19th of December (6th of December), the Orthodox commemorate one of the most loved and revered saints in the world - Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker. Saint Nicholas means a lot to everyone here at St Elisabeth Convent.
The Holy Prince Peter and Holy Princess Fevronia They take a special place in the communion of Orthodox saints by exemplifying a model of the relationship of love in a Christian marriage
On 28 October, the Orthodox Christians of Belarus commemorate 23 saints martyrs of the Minsk Diocese, glorified in 1999 as locally venerated saints. They suffered from 1917 to 1951, sharing the struggles of our Church in the 20th century.
Holy Righteous Sophia, Princess of Slutsk, came from an ancient family of Olelkovichs, who reigned in the city of Slutsk since 1395. During their reign, Slutsk was built and fortified.
Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker is a deeply revered saint at the Convent, and its history provides multiple examples of his intercession Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker was lived in Asia Minor in the late third and early fourth centuries, but…
Standing of St Mary of Egypt is another name for the long Matins service on Thursday of the 5th week of Great Lent. Why is this service called this and what is so special about it? We invite you to read further to find out.
The new martyrs found themselves in circumstances that most people today could barely imagine. Yet people who keep their faith at their most terrible times and obey God's commandments receive His help.