On this date, February 23 155, Polycarp died at the stake. Polycarp is an important figure in church history. He bridged the gap between the disciples of Jesus and the church of the second century.
His martyrdom account is one of the earliest that there are actually eyewitness accounts of! Historians believe that he was born around AD 70, and was discipled by the apostle John, Polycarp then discipled a young man named Irenaeus.
When he was captured he was told to renounce Christ. And here is his famous answer.
“Eighty and six years have I served Christ, nor has He ever done me any harm. How, then, could I blaspheme my King who saved me? You threaten the fire that burns for an hour and then is quenched; but you know not of the fire of the judgment to come, and the fire of eternal punishment. Bring what you will.”