(also known as Theophorus) (ca. 35 or 50-between 98 and 117) A Convert from paganism to Christianity. Was among the Apostolic Fathers. He was the third Bishop and Patriarch of Antioch succeeding Saint Peter the Apostle and was possibly a student of John the Apostle. Served during persecutions by Domitian and Trajan. During the persecution of Trajan, he was ordered taken to Rome to be killed by wild animals.
En route to his martyrdom in Rome, Ignatius wrote a series of letters which have been preserved as an example of very early Christian theology. Important topics addressed in these letters include ecclesiology, the sacraments, and the role of bishops. He was the first writer to use the term the Catholic Church. Legend says he was the infant that Jesus took into his arms in Mark 9.
Ignatius' feast day is observed on 20 December in Eastern Christianity. In Western Christianity it is celebrated on 17 October and on 1 February by those following the traditional western Calendar.
Propers for St. Ignatius - Bishop of Antioch and Martyr
ALMIGHTY God, by whose grace and power thy holy Bishop and martyr Ignatius triumphed over suffering and despised death: Grant, we beseech thee, that enduring hardship, and waxing valiant in fight, we may with the noble army of martyrs receive the crown of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Epistle - Romans 8:35-39.
WHO shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The Gospel - St. John 12:24-26.
VERILY, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.
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