October 17, 2015 (Memorial of Ignatius of Antioch)

St. Ignatius of Antioch was the successor of St. Peter as the head of the Church in Antioch. The Emperor Trajan in AD 107 condemned him to death by being thrown to the wild animals. This meant he had to journey to Rome and, along the way, he wrote 7 letters that are prized by the Church. These letters not only speak of his willingness to die for Christ but tell us of the early organization of the Church now that the eyewitnesses to Jesus were dead or dying (i.e. the role of the Bishops). In these letters Ignatius stresses the need for unity and being in sync with one’s Bishop. The need for unity is one that we have in the modern-day Church.

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