at prayer

St. Ignatius of Antioch
St Ignatius

Feast Day 1 February: Son Servera
Martyred 107

He was the third bishop of Antioch Syria after St Peter. He was arrested during the persecution by the Emperor Trajan, who ordered he should be brought to Rome to be thrown to wild beasts. On the way, during a journey that lasted for months, he wrote encouraging to the churches under his care telling them he was quite ready to die. He was the first writer to use the term, the Catholic Church

Tormented by fire, by beatings, by imprisonment, the name of Jesus remained constantly on his lips. About to be thrown to wild animals and asked to recant, he refused, saying he was but the wheat, which should be ground up by the teeth of the beasts so that he would be pure bread when he met Him.

Legend has it that when the lions came, they killed him without hurting him and there was no mark upon him. Furthermore, after his death, when his heart was cut open, they found the name of Jesus carved in it in gold letters. It is also said that he was the child that Jesus took in his arms in Mark 9:36.

His relics are in St Peter’s in Rome.