Memorial of Saint Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop and Martyr
Saint of the day
Saint Ignatius of Antioch (d.107)
Ignatius of Antioch died a martyr's death when he was thrown to the lions in 107. He was a Greek Christian who became bishop of Antioch in 69. Antioch, in Syria, was the most important Christian community outside of Jerusalem. Ignatius is one of the apostolic fathers, an early Church leader whose writings have been preserved. He was condemned to death during the persecution of Christians under the Roman Emperor Trajan, and taken to Rome as a prisoner to be executed. During the lengthy journey, he wrote letters to the Churches of Ephesus, Magnesia, Tralles, Rome, Philadelphia, and Smyrna, and a last letter to Bishop Polycarp of Smyrna. These letters give us important information about the life of the Church community after the first Apostles. Because he had complete confidence that after his death he would be resurrected with Christ, Ignatius fearlessly faced martyrdom and asked the Christians in Rome not to try to prevent it. His letter to the Church of Rome testifies: "Let me be food for the wild beasts, for they are my way to God. I am God's wheat and shall be ground by their teeth so that I may become Christ's pure bread. . . . No earthly pleasures, no kingdoms of this world can benefit me in any way. . . . Do not stand in the way of my birth to real life" (The Liturgy of the Hours, volume 4, pages 1490-1491). Saint Ignatius's feast day is October 17. (Taken from "The Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth.")
Although our society does not violently persecute Catholics, Saint Ignatius of Antioch is an example to us of the long tradition of Catholics who were willing to sacrifice their lives for their faith. If you were in a society like that of Saint Ignatius, would you be willing to practice your Catholic faith even if you knew it might be dangerous? Would you fearlessly face death for your beliefs? Many Catholics around the world are still targeted and victimized for their faith.
Pray for the Christians and Catholics throughout the world who are being treated poorly and sometimes violently attacked for their faith. Ask God to help others love them and treat them with compassion.
Liturgical season information
Place in Year: Ordinary Time
Color of decorations and priest's vestments:
Reading 1: Eph 2:1-10
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 100:1B-2, 3, 4Ab, 4C-5
Alleluia: Mt 5:3
Gospel: Lk 12:13-21View complete readings on USCCB.org