Early Church Themes Within The Martyrdom Of Saint Polycarp Essay

986 Words Jun 26th, 2015 4 Pages
Michele Gelaude Friday, June 26, 2015
THEO 60250: Intro to Early Church Themes within the Martyrdom of Saint Polycarp

Martyrdom, having its prominence during the third and fourth centuries, lasted for approximately 300 years under many different rulers. Emperors were intolerant toward Christianity and responded by putting Christians on trial, asking them to deny their faith or lose their life. The Christian martyrs who clung to their Christian faith showed the Spirit at work with their depth of discipleship. Similar to the martyrdom of Saint Ignatius of Antioch, Perpetua, and Felicity, Saint Polycarp exemplified themes of Liturgy, veneration of the martyrs, and imitation of Christ. However, the narrative of Polycarp’s martyrdom took the imitation of Christ a step farther, with a martyrdom narrative uniquely analogous to that of Christ’s Passion. There are rich references to the Liturgy in the lived experiences of these martyrs, illustrating the work of God through them. Ignatius described himself as the wheat to the Eucharist’s feast when he said, “I am God’s wheat…to make a pure loaf for Christ” and wrote about the ultimate communion, “What I want is God’s bread, which is the flesh of Christ,…and for drink I want his blood: an immortal love feast indeed!” In Perpetua’s vision, Eucharistic themes arose, “he gave me as it were a little cake,…and I ate it, and all who stood around said Amen.” More Liturgical themes are presented when Perpetua and Saturus…

Related Documents