The Daily Prayer
THURSDAY, October 17, 2019
Ignatius of Antioch (c. 35—c. 108)
Ignatius, whose surname was Theophorus (“God-bearer”), may have been a disciple of John the Evangelist. Little is known about his early life, but he took charge of the church at Antioch around the year 69 and was condemned to death during the time of Trajan’s persecution. While in transit to Rome, the boat carrying him to his death made stops along the shores of Asia Minor, and he was able to preach in the churches along the way. Faithful Christians met Ignatius upon his arrival in Rome, both to celebrate his presence and mourn his impending death. Praying with the believers, he asked for an end to persecution, blessings on the church, and charity for the faithful. He was taken to the amphitheater in Rome, where it is reported two lions were set upon him.
Ignatius of Antioch wrote, “The delights of this world and all its kingdoms will not profit me. I would prefer to die in Jesus Christ than to rule over all the earth. I seek him who died for us; I desire him who rose for us. I am in the throes of being born again. Bear with me, my brothers and sisters. Let me see the pure light; when I am there, I shall be truly a human being at last. Let me imitate the sufferings of my God.”
Lord God, instill in us such a fervor for you that we cannot help but preach your love and reconciliation in times of sorrow and joy. Amen.