Wednesday, October 16, 2019

The Feast of St Ignatius of Antioch.

"Therefore, the wisdom of God said, ‘I will send to them prophets and apostles; some of them they will kill and persecute’" (Luke 11: 49).

Thursday of the 28th week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Ignatius of Antioch (+ 107), Bishop, Martyr and Church Father.

St Ignatius appointed Bishop of Antioch by St Peter, suffered martyrdom in Rome under the persecution of Emperor Trajan. The fame of St Ignatius of Antioch was based on the inspired letters he wrote on his way to Rome for martyrdom. These letters were the earliest and richest documents of the Magisterium. St Ignatius wrote on the Eucharist, Incarnation, Authority of the Bishop, Marriage, etc. St John Henry Newman who was canonized this week probably had St Ignatius of Antioch in mind when he wrote: "To be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant."

The blood of martyrs is required for the life of the Church. It is a necessity. Abel and Zechariah were precursors of New Testament prophets who shed their blood for the faith.

"I am the wheat of Christ to be ground by the teeth of beasts,
that I may be found to be pure bread." (St Ignatius of Antioch, Communion Antiphon).

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