Saints Bio: St. Ignatius, B.M.
Ignatius of Antioch was born 35 AD and he was known as Theophorus (God Bearer). He was the third Bishop of Antioch and was a student of St. John the Apostle. En route to his martyrdom Rome, he wrote a series of letters churches in Asia and Rome, of which seven authentic letters have been preserved. His letters are especially important for ecclesiology and an early understanding of the Sacraments of the Church. St. Ignatius followed St. Peter and St. Evodius as the Bishop of Antioch and according to one early Father he was appointed to that office by St. Peter himself. His title Theophorus and according to tradition he was one of the children Jesus scooped up into his arms and blessed. Ignatius and his fellow bishop, Polycarp were personal disciples of St. John the Apostle. Ignatius was martyred in the Flavian Amphitheatre in the year 108 AD. Concerning the our Lord’s Divinity he wrote:
‘There is one Physician who is possessed both of flesh and spirit; both made and not made; God existing in flesh; true life in death; both of Mary and of God; first passible and then impassible, even Jesus Christ our Lord.”—Letter to the Ephesians
Ignatius was the first one to use the word katholikos meaning universal, whole and complete to describe the church:
“Wherever the bishop appears, there let the people be; as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church. It is not lawful to baptize or give communion without the consent of the bishop. On the other hand, whatever has his approval is pleasing to God. Thus, whatever is done will be safe and valid.” — Letter to the Smyrnaeans