Before we can talk about specific Apostolic Fathers we must understand what an Apostolic Father is. The Apostolic Fathers were men who had studied under the Apostles and spread God’s Word. Often these men were martyred in horrible ways. The Three Apostolic Fathers that will be noted are Polycarp, Ignatius, and Clement.
Polycarp is famous for his reply when asked to renounce God. ” Eighty and six years have I served Him, and he never did me any injury; how then can I blaspheme my King and my Savior.” he said. Before he was found he had hidden in an old farm house. The guards who arrested him gave him time to pray and actually began to wonder why they were doing it. Polycarp taught in the Asia Minor city of Smyrna before he was burned at the stake. Polycarp had studied under the Apostle John.
Ignatius also studied under the Apostle John. He was the Bishop of Antioch. He was known for promoting the Lord’s Day on a Sunday instead of the Jewish Sabbath which was on Saturday. He was martyred in the Coliseum.
Clement was taught by Apostle Peter. He was the Bishop of Rome and was martyred under the rein of Trajan. He is known for writing to the Corinthians about hierarchical church government.
These men were used by God to help his people. They proved there love for him when they all refused to renounce him to save their lives.