This disciple of St. John the Apostle was appointed bishop of Smyrna (now Izmir, Turkey), perhaps by John. Representing the Asia Minor churches, he went to Rome about 155 to discuss when to celebrate Easter. The result was that the Eastern and Western churches continued to calculate the date as before. Shortly after his return, Polycarp was arrested and urged to renounce God. He refused and was sentenced to be burned alive. When the flames did not harm him, he was killed by a sword, as recounted in an early Christian document.