Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Saint Ignatius of Antioch


Today is the feast of St Ignatius, the bishop of Antioch, one of the Sees that Saint Peter founded, he was to Rome in chains and thrown to the lions in the arena.
He was a disciple of Polycarp, who was a disciple of St John, who was the disciple Jesus the Christ.
Ignatius wrote to the Churches of the cities he passed through, on his way to his death, urging them to be loyal Christ and to be loyal to their Bishops.
He welcomed the thought of being able to die for Christ, "...being ground between the lions teeth, as wheat is ground for the Eucharist."

1 comment:

Henry said...

A few years ago, I collected some information about St Ignatius of Antioch for the Parish newsletter. This is an extract.

"For many years, there were doubts concerning the authenticity of his writings, but those now regarded as genuine are extremely important, as they testify to the dogmatic character Christianity in Apostolic times. Ignatius of Antioch is thus of great significance as a link between the Apostles and the Fathers of the early Church, since he received from the Apostles themselves not only the substance of revelation, but also their own interpretation of it. Cardinal Newman, for example, pointed out that 'the whole system of Catholic doctrine may be discovered, at least in outline, not to say in parts filled up, in the course of his seven epistles'.

"Among the many Catholic doctrines to be found in the letters are the following: the Church was Divinely established as a visible society, the salvation of souls is its end, and those who separate themselves from it cut themselves off from God; the hierarchy of the Church was instituted by Christ; the threefold character of the hierarchy; the order of the episcopacy superior by Divine authority to that of the priesthood; the unity of the Church;the holiness of the Church; the catholicity of the Church; the infallibility of the Church; the doctrine of the Eucharist; the Incarnation; the supernatural virtue of virginity; the religious character of matrimony; the value of united prayer; and the primacy of the See of Rome."

This demonstrates that what the sixteenth century reformers regarded as a deviation from the early church were nothing of the kind.