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  • Edward Riederich

The Martrydom of Polycarp

In 156 AD, Polycarp was told by the authorities to curse Christ. He said, "Eighty six years I have served him and he never did me any wrong. How can I blaspheme the king who saved me?"

The authorities threatened to throw him to the wild animals. He said, "call them in."

They then threatened to burn him alive. He said, "You threaten with fire that burns for a short time and is soon quenched. You don't know about the fire of the coming judgment and eternal punishment that awaits the wicked. But why are you waiting? Come do what you will."


A humble martyr who became famous

This old man stood and was courageous

God showed in a vision he wouldn't survive

He knew he would soon be burned alive


Polycarp was dragged through the streets

He was unafraid of the wild beasts

An audible voice spoke to him where it began

"Be strong Polycarp and act like a man"


Polycarp sacrificed all for the eternal

As the fire around him formed a circle

The heat of the fire became intense

Those near him smelled frankincense


God was with him as men were learning

He was in the fire but he was not burning

So they took and killed him with a sword

And suddenly he was with the Lord


Jesus came and carried him higher

His blood from his side extinguished the fire

He had something inside from above

Some say out of his side flew a dove


Polycarp believed God until the end

He courageously stood for his friend

Even today as evil pours in like a flood

The church is still built on the martyrs blood


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