October 17: Feast of St. Ignatius of Antioch

The second Bishop of Antioch, Syria, St. Ignatius was a student of the beloved Disciple John. St. Ignatius was consecrated Bishop around the year 69 by the Apostle Peter, the first Pope. A holy man who was deeply loved by the Christian faithful, he always made it his special care to defend right teaching and right practice among the early Christians.

In the year 107, during the reign of the brutal Emperor Trajan, St. Ignatius was sentenced to death because he refused to renounce the Christian faith. He was taken under guard to Rome where he was to be brutally devoured by wild beasts in a public spectacle. During St. Ignatius’ journey, his travels took him through Asia Minor and Greece. He made good use of the time by writing seven letters of encouragement, instruction, and inspiration to the Christians in those communities. We still have these letters as a great treasure of the Church today.

For more on the letters written by St. Ignatius: https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=3836

For more about his life: http://saintsresource.com/ignatius-of-antioch

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