Polycarp Parallels

In the introduction to the Martyrdom of Polycarp, the author tells us that “By almost every step that led up to Polycarp’s martyrdom, the Lord intended to show us anew the type of martyrdom narrated in the Gospel” (Mart. Pol 2.1).

We’re currently working our way through this martyrdom account in the JP2 Group so I thought I’d put together a post highlighting all the parallels I’ve found between Jesus’ death and Polycarp’s witness (martyrdom) to his Lord.

The full text and audio of the Martyrdom is available here.

Some of these parallels are much stronger than others (I put a star rating next to each one of them). In many ways, the fact that there are many inexact parallels actually adds to the credibility of the martyrdom account. Were it fabricated, one would expect the parallels to be “tidied up” a bit more and closer to that of our account of Jesus’ Passion.

Both foretold their deaths (Rating: *****)
In the Martyrdom of Polycarp, after seeing a vision of his pillow aflame, Polycarp turns to his companions and states “I must be burnt alive” (Mart. Pol 5.2). Jesus, likewise, foretold his own death saying “We are going up to Jerusalem, and [I]  will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will…hand [me] over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified” (Matt 20:18-19).

Both were betrayed (Rating: **)
Jesus was betrayed, of course, by Judas (Matt. 26:15). The author of the Martyrdom points out that “those who betrayed [Polycarp] were of his own household” and directly compares the betrayer to Judas (Mart. Pol 6.2). Both betrayers accompany the arresting party. However, I can’t help but think that this comparison is a little unfair. Polycarp’s betrayal was neither malicious nor for profit. The slave didn’t reveal Polycarp’s location until he had suffered abuse at the hands of the policemen. In fact, you might call this a “tortured” parallel… 😉

Both begin in an upper room (Rating: *)
When the police arrive for Polycarp he’s in the “upper room of a certain little house” (Mart. Pol. 7.1). Jesus’ Passion was preceded by the Last Supper held also in an Upper Room (Luke 22:12).

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A year of blogging

Today marks my blogging anniversary. I have now been writing this blog for one year exactly.

[Pause for applause]

Over of the 365 days of this blog’s existence I have written 137 posts, which works out at about a post every two or three days. Not bad at all.

Not a lot of people know this, but I was officially declared dyslexic at school when I was ten years old. As such, writing has never come easily to me.  Even if you see a post on this blog which is composed of even just a few sentences, I can guarantee you that I put quite some time into its composition. Therefore, the fact that I’ve managed to regularly write on this blog every two or three days for a year is really quite an achievement for me 🙂

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Friday Frivolity: East and West Flashmobs

“My name will be great among the nations, from the rising to the setting of the sun” – Malachi 1:11

In the East…


(Remember to turn on Captions)

…and in the West

Ugly Vestments

Today I would like to share with you the rather snarky and humourous blog Bad Vestments, where you will get to see lovely vestments such as this…

Saints and Sense Of Humour

I spent the last few days in Vegas on vacation so I’ve been catching up with my blog reading and found that, a couple of days ago, Joe Heschmeyer from Shameless Popery wrote a great post entitled Preparing Ourselves as Tabernacles For The Lord. This is a subject related to my post below. I began writing this entry about a month ago and scheduled it for publishing today – I’m not copying you Joe, honest!

A couple of weeks ago it was the feast day of St. Philip Neri.

Philip was born in Florence in 1515. At about the age of eighteen he experienced a deep conversion of heart and moved to Rome with no money or plan, but simply trusted in God’s providence. He worked for two years as a live-in tutor, but otherwise led a simple life of solitude and prayer.

He studied Philosophy and Theology for about three years but then brought his studies to an abrupt close. He launched a mission to the people of Rome, which was fortunate since, at that time, both the people and the Church of Rome were in a particularly shabby spiritual state.

There are many praiseworthy aspects of Philip’s life which are worth sharing, but the episode I would like to recount here is one which demonstrates his rather cheeky sense of humour…

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Lila Rose’s Story

I’m sure a lot of you have heard of Lila Rose, the young lady who has caused some real waves in the abortion debate and has become, I’m sure, a real thorn in the side of Planned Parenthood. However, not all of you may be aware of the story of her conversion. To hear it, please click on the link below…

Byzantine Music

If you’ve listened to my recordings of the writings of the Early Church Fathers (an area of this website I plan to soon organize properly), you will recognise the first few seconds of singing from the video below:

This video is a bit of computer trickery to make it appear as though these men are singing in Hagia Sophia (“holy wisdom”), the former cathedral of Istanbul, widely acknowledged as one of the most beautiful churches in history. After spending 500 years as a mosque after the Ottoman conquest, today it functions as a Museum.

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