Polycarp, the holy bishop of Smyrna, lived from 69-155 A.D. A friend of Ignatius of Antioch, he struggled to overcome the Marcionite heresy that troubled second century Christians. A model of forgiveness and respect, he was praised by Ignatius for the “candid face” he showed no matter the circumstance.
St. Polycarp was captured by the Romans, who attempted to force him to recant his faith. He refused. He was then ordered to be burnt alive. However, as the fire began to engulf him eyewitnesses report that that the flames formed a kind of halo around his body, leaving him unscathed. Soldiers stabbed him several times with their spears, and his life ended.