The feast day of St. Ignatius of Antioch is celebrated on October 17. He is known as a church father and martyr.
At birth, St. Ignatius was named Theophorus. He became the third Bishop of Antioch in around year 70. The Roman Emperor Dometian declared that he was ‘god’ and required homage. Those who refused were executed.
St. Ignatius led the Christians in Antioch by encouraging prayer and fasting. Emperor Trajan had Ignatius arrested and sent to Syria in chains to be executed. St. Ignatius was able to dictate letters to the six local churches while imprisoned. Most of what we know about St. Ignatius is from his writing.
St. Ignatius had a devotion to the Bless Virgin Mary. He wrote the following:
He who is devoted to the Virgin Mother will certainly never be lost.
In the letters that survived, St. Ignatius warned of false teachers. He focused on unity and the dangers of heresy. He also emphasized the importance of the Eucharist and the humanity of Christ.
St. Ignatius was fed to the lions in the Amphitheater in Rome in the year 107. His last words were:
I am the wheat of the Lord. I must be ground by the teeth of these beasts to be made the pure bread of Christ.
Quote of St. Ignatius of Antioch
October is the Month of the Most Holy Rosary