Born in 69, Polycarp converted to Christianity by St John the Evangelist. He was a friend of St Ignatius of Antioch. He was later ordained bishop of Smyrna (now Izmir Turkey). He went to Rome to confer with Pope Anicetus concerning the celebration of Easter. As an old man in 155 he was urged by the Roman proconsul to renounce Christ in order to save his life. The saint replied, “For eighty-six years I have served him and he has never wronged me. How can I renounce the King who has saved me?” He was executed and his body burnt; his followers collected his relics and wrote an account of his life and martyrdom. – CTS New Daily Roman Missal 2012, p 2578; Christian Prayer, Saint Paul Publications Philippines 1990, p 1088-89.