Bishop, Martyr, and Doctor of the Church (ca. 37-107)
+ According to ancient tradition, Ignatius was a disciple of Saint John the Evangelist and became
bishop of Antioch around the year 69.
+ In 107, Ignatius was arrested and brought before the emperor Trajan, who was visiting
Antioch. Having confessed to Christ, Ignatius was condemned to be taken to Rome for execution.
+ While on the way to Rome, he met Saint Polycarp and was warmly received by the churches
along the way. During his journey he wrote seven letters to the churches in Asia Minor and the
Christian in Rome. These letters show that Ignatius was a deeply spiritual and learned man with
a strong desire for martyrdom.
+ In his teachings, Ignatius stressed the true humanity and divinity of Jesus and recognized that
Jesus’ death and resurrection is the source of new life for Christians.
+ Upon arriving in Rome, Saint Ignatius of Antioch was thrown to lions and died almost
immediately in the Colosseum in Rome.
+ Celebrated by the Church since the third century, he is honored with the title Theophorus
(“God-bearer”) and his name is included in the Roman Canon (the First Eucharistic Prayer).
For prayer and reflection:
“Nothing is better than peace, by which all warfare of heavenly and earthly foes is brought to
naught.”—Saint Ignatius of Antioch
On this day we also remember Saint Richard Gwyn. A Cambridge-educated teacher in Wales, he rejected the Protestant faith and became a Catholic. He was subsequently imprisoned and
martyred for being a Catholic and, while in jail awaiting execution, he wrote several religious
poems in Welsh which have come down to us. Saint Richard was killed on October 17, 1584, in
Wrexham, Clwyd, Wales, and was canonized as one of the “Forty Martyrs of England and
Wales” in 1970.
Almighty ever-living God,
who adorn the sacred body of your Church
with the confessions of holy Martyrs,
grant, we pray,
that, just as the glorious passion of Saint Ignatius of Antioch,
which we celebrate today,
brought him eternal splendor,
so it may be for us unending protection.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.