15 11 2007

                              ST. IGNATIUS OF ANTIOCH

Church tradition teaches that the little child that Jesus held when he talked to His disciples about becoming as a child in order to enter the kingdom of Heaven was St. Ignatius. Not much is known about St.Ignatius until he became the Bishop of Antioch. We do know that he was a disciple of St. Peter and St. John, the Evangelist. In l07 A.D. , Trajan the emperor of Rome was conquering his enemies and annexing their land. He arrived in Antioch and was furious to hear of all of the Christians. Fearing that many Christians would lose their lives, St.Ignatius offered himself to be killed in their stead. Trajan thought that St. Ignatius was full of evil spirits to not bow down to his gods. St. Ignatius stood firm in his faith. He was sentenced to travel to Rome and die by the hands of lions in the great Coliseum. St. Ignatius wanted to die and be with the Lord. He begged the Christians not to try to rescue him by human means nor by the means of prayer. It was a six month journey and he was tired and feeble upon arriving in Rome. He was given one more chance to deny his faith but refused to do so. Two lions devoured all but his bones. Later, the three men who traveled with him took his bones to a home near the Coliseum that was frequented by the Christians. During the night, these Christians prayed. St. Ignatius appeared to them. Initially, his relics went to Antioch. Later they were brought back to Rome and were laid in the same spot where they were venerated the night after his death..




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