Birth: 50 AD
Death: 108 AD
Place of Vision: Antioch
The early Christians believed that there is no higher honor than being persecuted for Christ. Their perseverance amidst persecution stands as a testimony to their unflinching love for Christ. Ignatius was one such early Christian, who did not deny Christ in the face of death.
Saint Ignatius of Antioch (also known as Ignatius Theophoros, meaning ‘God-Bearer’) accepted Christ as his savior at a young age. It is said that he was a disciple of St. John along with Polycarp. Later he was anointed as the Bishop of Antioch. There, he tirelessly worked to strengthen the weaklings of his flock against the terrors of the persecution. He affirmatively preached that the New Testament was the fulfillment of the Old Testament.
In 107 AD Emperor Trajan decreed that the Christians should unite with others in the worship of Roman gods. Christians across the empire were forced to sacrifice to the idols, if not they were threatened with the death penalty. Ignatius refused to deny Christ and was hence arrested and condemned to death. He was put in chains and was escorted by soldiers to Rome. On his way, delegations of churches accompanied him from town to town. He traveled through Philadelphia, Sardis, and finally to Smyrna where he met his friend Polycarp.
On his journey, Ignatius used the time to write seven letters to encourage Christians to live faithfully in Christ. These letters warned the Christians against false doctrines and gave them strong guidance for a Godly life based on Biblical truths. His last letter was to Christians in Rome pleading with them not to stop his martyrdom. Ignatius believed that to be a perfect disciple of Christ meant to imitate Christ in his Passion, to be united with Christ in suffering. On reaching Rome, Ignatius was thrown into an arena, where the wild beasts killed him instantly.
? Beloved, are you encouraging the others to remain faithful to Christ? ?
? “Lord, help me look beyond my sufferings and be an instrument of encouragement for others. Amen!” ?
BenjaminForChrist @ +91 9842513842
Thanks: Dr. Hepsibah Selvam