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St. Ignatius of Antioch

Saint Ignatius of Antioch (ca. 35-110) was the third Bishop of Antioch and a student of the Apostle John. En route to his martyrdom in Rome, Ignatius wrote a series of letters which have been preserved as an example of the theology of the earliest Christians. Important topics addressed in these letters include ecclesiology, the sacraments, and the role of bishops.

 

His final letter begs the Christians in Rome not to try to stop his martyrdom; he bravely met the lions in the Circus Maximus.

Ignatius, along with Clement of Rome and Polycarp of Smyrna, is one of the chief Apostolic Fathers, early Christian authors who reportedly knew the apostles personally.

 

St. Ignatius' feast day is December 20 in Eastern Christianity. In the West it is celebrated on October 17, but on February 1 by those who follow the General Roman Calendar of 1962.

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