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Thursday, 25 July 2024
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St Ignatius of Antioch


A disciple of St John the Evangelist, and appointed Bishop of Antioch by St Peter, St. Ignatius was the second successor of Peter. He was martyred under the Emperor Trajan in 107 A.D. by being thrown into a pit of wild animals. Many Christians in Rome wanted to have him released by bribing the judges. St. Ignatius wrote to them saying: "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".

On his long journey to martyrdom in Rome, he confirmed many in the faith; he wrote seven letters to the seven churches. These letters include a discussion of Christ, the structure of the Church, and the Christian life. Cardinal Newman once said "The whole system of Catholic Doctrine may be discovered at least in outline in...his seven epistles."

St. Ignatius was the first to use the term "Catholic Church" as a collective designation for Christians. His feast day is 17th October.