He repeatedly emphasizes the very great age of Polycarp.Polycarp kissed the chains of Ignatius when he passed by Smyrna on the road to Rome for his martyrdom.Polycarp followed the eastern practice of celebrating the feast on the 14th of Nisan, the day of the Jewish Passover, regardless of what day of the week it fell on.Anicetus followed the western practice of celebrating the feast on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring equinox (March 21).With Clement of Rome and Ignatius of Antioch, Polycarp is regarded as one of three chief Apostolic Fathers.The sole surviving work attributed to his authorship is his Letter to the Philippians; it is first recorded by Irenaeus of Lyons. The sole surviving work attributed to him is Polycarp's letter to the Philippians, a mosaic of references to the Greek Scriptures, preserved in Irenaeus' account of Polycarp's life.Anicetus—the Roman sources offering it as a mark of special honor—allowed Polycarp to celebrate the Eucharist in his own church.
If so, then Polycarp's martyrdom would have had to occur at least a month after the traditional February 23 dating since according to the Hebrew calendar the earliest time Nisan 14, the date of the Passover, can fall on in any given year is late March.
Polycarp is regarded as a saint and Church Father in the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran churches. It is recorded by Irenaeus, who heard him speak in his youth, and by Tertullian, Saint Jerome wrote that Polycarp was a disciple of John and that John had ordained him bishop of Smyrna.
The early tradition that expanded upon the Martyrdom to link Polycarp in competition and contrast with John the Apostle who, though many people had tried to kill him, was not martyred but died of old age after being exiled to the island of Patmos, is embodied in the Coptic language fragmentary papyri (the "Harris fragments") dating to the 3rd to 6th centuries.
According to Irenaeus, during the time his fellow Syrian, Anicetus, was the Bishop of Rome, in the 150s or 160, Polycarp visited Rome to discuss the differences that existed between Asia and Rome "with regard to certain things" and especially about the time of the Easter festivals.
Irenaeus said that on certain things the two bishops speedily came to an understanding, while as to the time of Easter, each adhered to his own custom, without breaking off communion with the other.