Eucharistic Crusade

Martyr of the Month

St. Ignatius of Antioch

Feast Day – February 1st


St. Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, was the Disciple of St. John the Evangelist.  When Domitian persecuted the Church, St. Ignatius obtained peace for his flock by fasting and prayer.  But mostly, he desired to suffer for Christ, and to prove himself a “perfect Disciple.”           

In the year 107, the Emperor Trajan, came to Antioch and forced the Christians to choose between giving up their Catholic Faith, or being killed.  Trajan questioned St. Ignatius, “Who are you spirit of evil, who dare to disobey my orders, and to encourage others on to their destruction?”

“No one calls Theophorus, spirit of evil!” the saint replied.

“Who is Theophorus?”

“He who bears Christ within him!”

“And do we not bear within ourselves, those gods who help us against our enemies,” questioned the Emperor.

“You are mistaken when you call gods, those who are no better than Devils.  For there is only one God who made Heaven and Earth, and all that is in them.  And there is only one Jesus Christ, into whose Kingdom I greatly desire to be admitted.”

Trajan asked, “Do you mean Him who was crucified under Pontius Pilate?”

“Yes, Jesus, by His death, has crucified both sin and it’s author, and has proclaimed that every evil of the Devil should be crushed under foot, by those who bear Him in their hearts.”

“Do you then carry about Christ within you?” said Trajan.

St. Ignatius answered,  “Yes, for it is written,  ‘I will dwell with them and walk with them.’ ”

“Then I sentence you to be bound and taken to Rome, to be torn to pieces by the wild beasts! The Romans will love to watch!”

The saint cried, “I thank Thee, Lord, for giving me the chance to make an act of perfect love for Thee, and for allowing me to be bound for Thy sake with chains, like Thy Apostle, Paul!”

St. Ignatius, was then hurried away to Rome by the soldiers, and was eaten up by the Lions.  He died, a Martyr for the Church. 

St. Ignatius, pray for us!


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