Thought of the Day- 17 October – The Memorial of St Ignatius of Antioch (c35-c108) Father of the Church
Ignatius’s great concern was for the unity and order of the Church.
Even greater was his willingness to suffer martyrdom rather than deny his Lord Jesus Christ.
He did not draw attention to his own suffering but to the love of God which strengthened him.
He knew the price of commitment and would not deny Christ, even to save his own life.
“Ask for me this only in your prayers, that strength may be given me of the Lord that I may not be called but proved to be a Christian. Then shall I be seen to be faithful when the world no longer sees me. For nothing that appeareth is eternal. For the things which are perceived are temporal but the things which are not seen are eternal. I write to the Churches and charge you all that willingly I die for Christ, if you prevent me not. I ask of you that your love for me be not untimely; allow me to be devoured of wild beasts, through whom I may attain unto God. I am the grain of God ground between the teeth of wild beasts, that I may be found to be the pure bread of Christ. Then indeed shall I be the true disciple of Christ when the world shall no longer behold my body. Beseech Christ on my behalf that through these means I may be found a perfect sacrifice. Not as Peter and Paul do I command you. They were apostles, I am the least of them; they were free but I am a slave even unto this day but, if you wish, I shall be the freedman of Jesus Christ and in Him I shall rise again and be free. Amen.”- from a letter to the Romans from Saint Ignatius of Antioch
Keep St Ignatius before your eyes always and ask him to Pray for us all, to Pray for his beloved Holy Mother, the Church!
Quote/s of the Day – 17 October – The Memorial of St Ignatius of Antioch (c 35-c 107) Father of the Church
“Do not have Jesus Christ on your lips and the world in your heart.”
“We recognise a tree by its fruit and we ought to be able to recognise a Christian by his action. The fruit of faith should be evident in our lives, for being a Christian is more than making sound professions of faith. It should reveal itself in practical and visible ways. Indeed it is better to keep quiet about our beliefs and live them out, than to talk eloquently about what we believe but fail to live by it.”
“It is not that I want merely to be called a Christian but to actually BE ONE. Yes, If I prove to be one, then I can have the name!”
“Wherever the bishop shall appear,
there let the multitude also be;
even as, wherever Jesus Christ is,
there is the Catholic Church.”
“He who died in place of us, is the one object of my quest. He who rose for our sakes is my one desire.”
“My dear Jesus, my Saviour, is so deeply written in my heart, that I feel confident, that if my heart were to be cut open and chopped to pieces, the name of Jesus would be found written on every piece.”
“Christianity is greatest when it is hated by the world.”
St Ignatius of Antioch (c35-c108) Father of the Church
NOVENA to St John Paul the Great: DAY FIVE – 17 OCTOBER
Little Known Fact #5: Father Karol Wojtyla was only 38 when he was made a Bishop. It did not change his lifestyle at all. True, instead of walking everywhere he had a bicylce and even a rather ancient car and chauffeur to get around the diocese and in order not to waste time, he had a table and a light fixed into the car, to allow him to read and work on necessary journeys.
REFLECTION:” ………reflecting on the assassination attempt, he said: “In sacrificing himself for us all, Christ gave a new meaning to suffering, opening up a new dimension, a new order: the order of love … It is this suffering which burns and consumes evil with the flame of love and draws forth even from sin a great flowering of good” (pp. 189-190). Impelled by this vision, the Pope suffered and loved in communion with Christ and that is why the message of his suffering and his silence proved so eloquent and so fruitful.” – Pope Benedict at St John Paul’s Funeral
Let us Pray:
O Holy Trinity, we thank You for having given to the Church Pope John Paul II and for having made him shine with Your fatherly tenderness, the glory of the Cross of Christand the splendour of the Spirit of love.
He, trusting completely in Your infinite mercy and in the maternal intercession of Mary, has shown himself in the likeness of Jesus the Good Shepherd and has pointed out to us the way of holiness as the path to reach eternal communion with You Grant us, through his intercession, according to Your will, the grace that we implore,
………………….. [state your intention here].
Continue, beloved St John Paul, we implore you, to sustain from heaven the faith of God’s people. We praise and thank You Father that St John Paul has been numbered among Your saints and make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit, one God forever.
Totus Tuus, Amen.
Quote Day Five: “I find great peace in thinking of the time when the Lord will call me: from life to life! And so I often find myself saying, with no trace of melancholy, a prayer recited by priests after the celebration of the Eucharist: In hora mortis meae voca me, et iube me venire ad te – at the hour of my death, call me and bid me come to you. This is the prayer of Christian hope, which in no way detracts from the joy of the present, while entrusting the future to God’s gracious and loving care.”
One Minute Reflection – 17 October – The Memorial of St Ignatius of Antioch (c35-c108) Father of the Church
Live according to what you have learned and accepted…. Philippians 4:9
REFLECTION – “Christianity is not a matter of persuading people of particular ideas but of inviting them to share in the greatness of Christ. So pray that I may never fall into the trap of impressing people with clever speech but instead I may learn to speak with humility, desiring only to impress people with Christ Himself.”…St Ignatius of Antioch
PRAYER – Heavenly Father, grant that I may believe what I have learned, never presuming to know better than the teachings of Holy Mother Church and that I may put into practice what I believe. Let my commitment be like unto the Martyr, St Ignatius of Antioch, who went with joy to his horrific death, for the faith in Christ, Your Son, one God with You and the Holy Spirit. St Ignatius, pray for us, amen.
Majestic Sovereign, timeless Wisdom,
Your kindness melts my hard, cold soul.
Handsome Lover, selfless Giver,
Your beauty fills my dull, sad eyes.
I am Yours, You made me.
I am Yours, You called me.
I am Yours, You saved me.
I am Yours, You loved me.
I will never leave Your presence.
Give me death, give me life.
Give me sickness, give me health.
Give me honour, give me shame.
Give me weakness, give me strength.
I will have whatever You give.
Saint of the Day – 17 October – St Ignatius of Antioch (c 35 – c 108) Father of the Church – Bishop of Antioch and Martyr, Theologian, Teacher, Writer, also known as Ignatius Theophorus “the God-bearing”. He was martyred by being thrown to wild animals c 108 at Rome, Italy. His relics are at Saint Peter’s Basilica, Rome with his major Shrine being at the Basilica of San Clemente in Rome. Patronages -• against throat diseases• Church in eastern Mediterranean• Church in North Africa. Canonised pre-congregation by John The Apostle (mentioned in later writings of the Church.) En route to Rome, where he met his martyrdom, Ignatius wrote a series of letters. (Read them here: https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?id=3836).
This correspondence now forms a central part of the later collection known as the Apostolic Fathers. His letters also serve as an example of early Christian theology. Important topics they address include ecclesiology, the sacraments and the role of bishops. In speaking of the authority of the church, he was the first to use the phrase “catholic church” in writing. He wrote in this regard: See that you all follow the bishop, even as Jesus Christ does the Father, and the presbytery as you would the apostles; and reverence the deacons, as being the institution of God. Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is administered either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude of the people also be; even as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church. —Letter to the Smyrnaeans, Ch 8
His sentiments before his approaching martyrdom are summed in his word in the Communion antiphon, “I am the wheat of Christ, ground by the teeth of beasts to become pure bread.”
The sixth letter was to Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, who was later martyred for the faith. The final letter begs the Christians in Rome not to try to stop his martyrdom. “The only thing I ask of you is to allow me to offer the libation of my blood to God. I am the wheat of the Lord; may I be ground by the teeth of the beasts to become the immaculate bread of Christ.”
Ignatius bravely met the lions in the Circus Maximus.
In the Martyrology we read: “At Rome, the holy bishop and martyr Ignatius. He was the second successor to the apostle Peter in the see of Antioch. In the persecution of Trajan he was condemned to the wild beasts and sent in chains to Rome. There, by the emperor’s order, he was subjected to most cruel tortures in the presence of the Senate and then thrown to the lions. Torn to pieces by their teeth, he became a victim for Christ.”
The bishop and martyr Ignatius occupies a foremost place among the heroes of Christian antiquity. His final journey from Antioch to Rome was like a nuptial procession and a Way of the Cross.For the letters he wrote along the way resemble seven stations of the Cross; they may also be called seven nuptial hymns overflowing with the saint’s intense love for Christ Jesus and his longing to be united with Him. These letters are seven most precious jewels in the heirloom bequeathed to us by the Church of sub-apostolic times.
The year of St Ignatius’ death is unknown but scholars place it at c 108; perhaps it occurred during the victory festivities in which the Emperor Trajan sacrificed the lives of 10,000 gladiators and 11,000 wild beasts for the amusement of the bloodthirsty populace. The scene of his glorious triumph and martyrdom was most likely the Circus Maximus; that mammoth structure, glittering with gold and marble, had then been just completed.
“From Syria to Rome I must do battle with beasts on land and sea. For day and night I am chained to ten leopards, that is, the soldiers who guard me and grow more ferocious the better they are treated. Their mistreatment is good instruction for me, yet am I still far from justified. Oh, that I may meet the wild beasts now kept in readiness for me. I shall implore them to give me death promptly and to hasten my departure. I shall invite them to devour me so that they will not leave my body unharmed as already has happened to other witnesses. If they refuse to pounce upon me, I shall impel them to eat me. My little children, forgive me these words. Surely I know what is good for me. From things visible I no longer desire anything; I want to find Jesus. Fire and cross, wild beasts, broken bones, lacerated members, a body wholly crushed, and Satan’s every torment, let them all overwhelm me, if only I reach Christ.”
The saint, now condemned to fight the wild beasts, burned with desire for martyrdom. On hearing the roar of the lions he cried out: “I am a kernel of wheat for Christ. I must be ground by the teeth of beasts to be found bread (of Christ) wholly pure”.
St Ignatius is also the first Father of the Church who wrote about Mary. He defended the veracity of the humanity of Christ against the docetists by affirming that Jesus pertained to the line of David because he was born of Mary. Jesus was conceived by Mary – He came from her – and this conception was virginal and pertains to the most hidden mysteries in the silence of God.
The Final Prayer of St Ignatius of Antioch
I am the wheat of God,
and am ground by the teeth of the wild beasts,
that I may be found the pure bread of God.
I long after the Lord,
the Son of the true God and Father, Jesus Christ.
Him I seek, who died for us and rose again.
I am eager to die for the sake of Christ.
My love has been crucified,
and there is no fire in me that loves anything.
But there is living water springing up in me,
and it says to me inwardly:
“Come to the Father.”
St Ignatius of Antioch (Memorial) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKNS1qq2QIc
St Anstrudis of Laon
Bl Balthassar of Chiavari
Bl Battista de Bonafede
St Berarius I of Le Mans
St Colman of Kilroot
Bl Contardo Ferrini
St Ethelbert of Eastry
St Ethelred of Eastry
St Florentius of Orange
St Francois Isidore Gagelin
Bl Gilbert the Theologian
St Heron of Antioch
Bl Jacques Burin
St John the Short/Dwarf
St Mamelta of Persia
St Nothelm of Canterbury
St Richard Gwyn
St Rudolph of Gubbio
St Rufus of Rome
St Serafino of Montegranaro
St Solina of Chartres
St Zosimus of Rome
Martyrs of Nicomedia – 3 saints: A group of Christians martyred in the persecutions of Diocletian. The only details about them that have survived are their names – Alexander, Marianus and Victor. 303 in Nicomedia (in modern Turkey).
Martyrs of Valenciennes -5 beati: A group of Ursuline nuns martyred in the persecutions of the French Revolution.
• Hyacinthe-Augustine-Gabrielle Bourla
• Jeanne-Reine Prin
• Louise-Joseph Vanot
• Marie-Geneviève-Joseph Ducrez
• Marie-Madeleine-Joseph Déjardins
Martyrs of Volitani: A group of martyrs who were praised by Saint Augustine of Hippo. In Volitani, proconsular Africa (in modern Tunisia).
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• BlessedFidel Fuidio Rodriguez
• BlessedJosé Sánchez Medina
• BlessedPerfecto Carrascosa Santos
• BlessedTársila Córdoba Belda de Girona