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Martyrdom of St Ignatius of Antioch By Anonymous [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

October 17

Saint Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop and Martyr


“Yes, one and all, you should form yourselves into a choir, so that, in perfect harmony and taking your pitch from God, you may sing in unison and with one voice to the Father through Jesus Christ.”[1]

St. Ignatius of Antioch was born in Syria around the year 50 A.D. According to tradition, he was the second bishop of Antioch, after St. Evodius. During a persecution, St. Ignatius held to the faith and was sent to Rome to be executed. En route, representatives of many churches welcomed him. On this grueling journey, he wrote seven surviving letters to various churches in modern-day Turkey, to Christians in Rome, and to his fellow bishop Polycarp. His letters are important witnesses to the life and thought of early Christians. In them, he emphasized Christian unity- centered on the bishop and the Eucharist, and stressed the reality of Christ’s humanity and divinity. [2][3]

Written by Sarah Ciotti
Reviewed by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB, STD

[1] St. Ignatius of Antioch, “To the Ephesians,” in Early Christian Fathers, ed. Cyril C. Richardson, (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1953), 89, www.ccel.org.
[2] Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB, The Martyrology of the Monastery of the Ascension, 2008.
[3] Catholicpedia: The Original Catholic Encyclopedia (1917) for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. s.v. “St. Ignatius of Antioch.”

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