Thursday, October 14, 2021

Saint Ignatius of Antioch

“Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord; Lord, hear my voice!” Psalm 130:1b

Where did Saint Ignatius of Antioch get his courage? He wrote, “Permit me to imitate my suffering God...I am God’s wheat and I shall be ground by the teeth of beasts, that I may become the pure bread of Christ.” 

We will celebrate his feast day in a few days, and I am in awe that a simple man like him born in obscurity would desire to be a martyr. When he was Bishop of Antioch in Syria, he was arrested. He refused adamantly to worship idols and was sentenced to die in the Roman Coliseum. On the journey to Rome, Saint Ignatius was chained, but he was allowed to visit Christian communities along the way. Christians accompanied him from town to town for he was a well known figure.

He wrote in one of his letters that if the animals in the arena were not hungry, he would prod them to eat him and he urged his fellow Christians not to prevent his martyrdom. We may think that this is impossible today, but there are many martyrs in many persecuted areas of the world, people of God who die in the obscurity of the world. When they arrive in heaven, I am sure they are greeted with another arena of welcomers, a cloud of witnesses! 

Image is of a fresco of the Saint in Hosios Loukas Monastery, Boeotia, Greece.

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I am so glad you dropped by! You are a blessing!
:^) Patsy