St Ignatius

(d. c. 107)

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Bp. of Antioch. Nothing is known of his life except that he was taken under guard from Antioch to Rome. He was received at Smyrna by St Polycarp, and from there he wrote to the Churches of Ephesus, Magnesia, and Tralles letters of encouragement, and to the Church of Rome begging them not to deprive him of martyrdom by intervening with the authorities. At Troas he wrote to the Churches of Philadelphia and Smyrna and to Polycarp. The Colosseum is the traditional place of his martyrdom.

Ignatius insists on the reality of both the Divinity and the Humanity of Christ, whose life is continued in the Eucharist. The best safeguard of the unity of the Christian faith is the bishop, without whose authority neither the Eucharist nor marriage may be celebrated. Feast day: 17 Oct. in the RC Church (formerly 1 Feb.), some Anglican calendars, and at Antioch; 20 Dec. in the Greek Church.

Subjects: Christianity.

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