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Friday 26 November |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Marmaduke Bowes
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And today we celebrate...Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day: St. Ignatius of Antioch

Apostolic Father

Bishop, Martyr, and Doctor of the Church (ca. 37-107)

His life

+ 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 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

Love one another with an undivided heart. Let my spirit be sanctified by yours, not only now, but also when I shall attain to God… In [Jesus Christ] may you be found unblemished.”—Saint Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Trallians

Spiritual bonus

On this day the Church also remembers Blessed François Isidore Gagelin. A priest of the Paris Foreign Mission Society, he was sent as a missionary to Vietnam in 1822. When the government began a systematic persecution of Christians, François turned himself in to the authorities and, during his imprisonment, provided spiritual care for the other prisoners. He was martyred on October 17, 1833, in Bãi Dâu, Saingon, Vietnam, and was canonized in 1988.

Prayer

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.

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