The Feast of Saint Ignatius

Today the church celebrates The Feast of Saint Ignatius, who was born in Syria and eventually became the Bishop of Antioch. In the year 107, Emperor Trajan visited Antioch and forced the Christians there to choose between death and apostasy. Ignatius would not deny Christ, and was thus condemned to be put to death in Rome.

Ignatius is well known for the seven letters he wrote on the long journey from Antioch to Rome. One in particular, he wrote to Polycarp Bishop of Smyrna, “The only thing I ask of you is to allow me to offer the libation of my blood to God. I am the wheat of the Lord. May I be ground by the teeth of the beasts to become the immaculate bread of Christ.”

Ignatius bravely met the lions in The Circus Maximus.