Polycarp: A Man of Unwavering Faith
The story in the film Polycarp took its inspirations from the book “Polycarp: Destroyer of Our Gods” by Rick Lambert. Main character Polycarp was a known aged bishop and a disciple of John the Apostle. He stood as a leader to the followers of the teachings of Christ after the death of the Apostles.
The first subplot focused on Polycarp buying a slave girl for 50 denarii. She became an adopted child in their home. She listens while he preached within the household. However, she is adamant in believing their act of faith as her prayers are left unanswered.
As an audience, we relate to Anna’s emotions when we feel confused after being saved by an unnoticed divine intervention from any form of mishap. There’s still hesitation to look into faith when bad experiences in life outweigh the teachings we hear from religious leaders. In Anna’s case, she came to accept her fate upon knowing that both Germanicus and Polycarp got saved from slavery like herself.
Germanicus was Polycarp’s adoptive son who also serves as his messenger, tasked to deliver the scriptures to other Christian followers. Since the Roman government imposed on publicly worshipping only Caesar as God, the proconsul Quadratus orders to capture and kill those that refuse to renounce their faith. During one of his errands, Germanicus got captured.
However, he has kept his faith to the end. Polycarp mentioned to Anna that he ran to face the lions although it was not shown anymore. These scenes depict the picture of commitment to serve God regardless of circumstances.
Following the death of Germanicus, getting Polycarp captured and killed was the proconsul’s next agenda. Anna ran to his place to warn him. Instead of running away, he told her the analogy of the lampstand that intends to give light to many relating it to the purpose of his life. He stands for his faith amidst an impending persecution. He says one can always hope and one can always pray.
This act reminds us of Jesus Christ praying at the Garden of Gethsemane before he got captured. Polycarp, in the same way, prayed to God to prepare himself before facing Quadratus. He was calm and sure of himself as he defended God as the creator of man and that Caesar is only a man. His stance provoked the proconsul to declare that he has committed treason against Rome. Polycarp was burned at a stake.
The culminating scenes in this film speak volume in terms of losing life for Christ’s sake. In this era, preaching Christianity is still being persecuted in some parts of the world and yet, more Christians are out to spread the word.
Truly, passing on the teachings of our faith is what makes our life’s purpose well served. A grown-up Anna passing on her learnings to a girl in the cell before she faces her own death ended this story.
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