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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Saint Ignatius of Antioch - October 17

Saint Ignatius of Antioch

Saint Ignatius of Antioch
October 17

“I am God’s wheat and shall be ground by the teeth of wild animals.  I am writing to all the churches to let it be known that I will gladly die for God if only you do not stand in my way.  I plead with you:  show me no untimely kindness,  Let me be food for the wild beasts, for they are my way to God. I am God’s wheat and shall be ground by their teeth so that I may become Christ’s pure bread.” (A Letter to the Romans by Saint Ignatius of Antioch)

Saint Ignatius was consecrated as the second Bishop of Antioch and successor to Saint Peter around the year 69.  In 107, during the reign Emperor Trajan, Saint Ignatius was sentenced to death for refusing to renounce the Christian faith.  On his journey to Rome to be executed, he wrote seven letters of encouragement, instruction and inspiration to the Christians of the Churches of Asia Minor and Greece.

It was Saint Ignatius who first used the Greek term katholikos, meaning universal to describe the whole Church in his Letter to the Smymaeans, "Wherever the bishop appears, there let the people be; as wherever Jesus Christ is there is the Catholic Church."  Saint Ignatius was dedicated to defending the true teaching handed down by the Apostles.  He died a martyr's death, publicly devoured by lions in the Roman Coliseum.   

“It is not that I want merely to be called a Christian, but to actually be one.  Yes, if I prove to be one, then I can have the name…Come fire, cross, battling with wild beasts, wrenching of bones, mangling of limbs, crushing of my whole body, cruel tortures of the Devil – Only let me get to Jesus Christ!” Saint Ignatius of Antioch

For Items related to the Catholic Church, 
please visit Lynn's Timeless Treasures.  
Martyrdom of Saint Ignatius of Antioch - Cesare Fracanzano

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