Today’s Saint

Daily Journey with the Saints

February 23 | Loyalty

Saint Polycarp of Smyrna

A.D. 69–155

Do you have any really good friends? What kind of friend are you?

One sure way to learn whether you have a real friend is in a moment of crisis. One thing you'll absolutely see is loyalty—or the absence of it. Do you have friends who are only there when they need you but nowhere to be found when your life lands in the ditch? That’s not loyalty, and that’s not a true friend. A true friend is one who walks in when others are walking out. 

A true friendship is rooted in loyalty.

Jesus is a true friend to us all. And Saint Polycarp of Smyrna was a true friend to Jesus.

Polycarp was a direct disciple of the Apostle John—the same John who wrote a Gospel. Polycarp was loyal to John, to his bishop, to the Pope, and above all, to Jesus. He didn’t run away when things got hard.

The most profound display of this loyalty came at the end of his life, during the Roman persecution of Christians. Arrested for his unapologetic proclamation of the Gospel, Polycarp was brought to a public arena and given a choice: renounce Jesus and save his life, or remain loyal and face death. His response? "Eighty and six years I have served Him, and He never did me any injury: how then can I blaspheme my King and my Savior?" These were the words of a loyal friend to Jesus.

True friends remain loyal in a time of crisis. When things get hard, they’re willing to give up everything they are doing at the moment to be at your side and support you in whatever way that is helpful. Who are you willing to do that for? Who are you loyal to?


I will be loyal to Jesus, no matter what.

This reflection is brought to you from book title.

Patron Saint of: Earaches and Dysentery

Symbols: Flames and a Sword

Feast Day: February 23

Feast Day Shared By: Saint Giuseppina Vannini

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