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He was the next Bishop of Antioch after Evodius.  St. Peter was there before them as a contemporary, as well as St. Paul.

His writings have come down to us over the ages.  He was condemned to death for being a Christian and transported to Rome to be thrown to the wild beasts in the arena.

As he was journeying to Rome for his martyrdom, he wrote seven letters to various Churches.

He wrote about Jesus Christ, the organisation of the Church in his time, and other aspects of Christian life.

Because these writings are so early, they tell us a lot about the early Church.

He is the first one to use the name Catholic to describe the Church.

He is a contemporary of the Apostles.  He is said to have been Ordained by St. Peter himself.  He was Bishop of Antioch from about the year 70.

He speaks very clearly about the role of the Bishop ‘where the Bishop is, Christ is there with His Church’.

  • The Eucharist is the flesh of Jesus Christ.

  • He spoke of deacons, priests, and bishops in his ministry.

  • One altar with one bishop with his priests and deacons.

  • He knew the Apostle John.

  • He speaks of the Church in Rome as presiding in love over the Roman territory, i.e. the primacy of Church of Rome, its leadership role.

We learn a lot about the early Church from Ignatius of Antioch.

We see in his writings a strong connection of core teachings of the Catholic Church today, to those of the early Church.

He would rather die than deny his faith under the early Roman persecutions.

We are the heirs of two-thousand years of Christian faith and teachings.

We are part of a community of faith connected with the Apostles and with Jesus.

Ignatius was very strong on the need of the Church to be united and protected from errors that were starting to creep in, even in his day.

Apostolic authority was seen by him as giving legitimacy to the Church.  That is still true today.


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