Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Mark (9: 38-40) in which Jesus tells his disciples ‘no one who works a miracle in my name is likely to speak evil of me, anyone who is not against us is for us’. After the Gospel reading, Fr Paul shares a little about the life of St Polycarp, whose memorial we celebrate today.Fr Paul says we don’t know exactly when Polycarp was born but it was very early in the life of the Church because Polycarp was a disciple of the Apostles. Eventually, he was Bishop of Smyrna and he was also a friend of St Ignatius of Antioch. Polycarp was martyred in the year 155AD by being burnt to death in the stadium. We celebrate Polycarp’s life because he is an important figure in the Church’s history because he is one of the earliest Christians whose writings have survived to this day. In the tradition of our Church, Fr Paul invites us to ask ‘St Polycarp, pray for us’!
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