Born in Syria, Ignatius converted to Christianity and eventually became bishop of Antioch. In the year 107, Emperor Trajan visited Antioch and forced the Christians there to choose between death and apostasy. Ignatius would not deny Christ and thus was condemned to be put to death in Rome.
Ignatius is well known for the seven letters he wrote on the long journey from Antioch to Rome. Five of these letters are to churches in Asia Minor; they urge the Christians there to remain faithful to God and to obey their superiors. He warns them against heretical doctrines, providing them with the solid truths of the Christian faith.
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.
PRAYER OF ST. IGNATIUS OF ANTIOCH for Martyrdom
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.”
Almighty ever-living God, who adorn the sacred body of your Church with the confessions of holy Martyrs, grant, we pray, that, just as the glorious passion of Saint Ignatius of Antioch, which we celebrate today, brought him eternal splendor, so it may be for us unending protection. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever.
Prayer for the Dead By Saint Ignatius of Antioch
Receive in tranquillity and peace, O Lord, the souls of your servants who have departed this present life to come to you. Grant them rest and place them in the habitations of light, the abodes of blessed spirits. Give them the life that will not age, good things that will not pass away, delights that have no end, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
St. Ignatius of Antioch Novena
Blessed holy servant of God, St. Ignatius of Antioch, we pray today for protection of the faithful throughout the world.
Intercede for us! Your faith in God was so great that you were a witness of Christ’s love even though you were persecuted. You protected christians and were publicly martyred defending your faith in Christ. Protect persecuted christians throughout the world. Give them the courage to defend their faith in Christ and be witnesses of His love. Please pray for the protection of….
(Mention your intentions)
These intentions bring us to you, seeking your intercession for courage and protection.
We are humbled by your faith in Christ and your desire to be unified with Him. Pray for us that we may grow in faith and love of Jesus Christ our Savior. And so, we ask that you pray for us…
Pray for us, that we will not let persecution bring us hopelessness
Most holy Saint Ignatius of Antioch, we know that you are a powerful intercessor because you sacrificed your life for your faith in God. We pray, that just as your glorious passion brought you eternal splendor, so it may also be for us unending protection.
Help us to live our lives by your example of courage and faith. Pray for our physical and spiritual protection, but pray even more-so that we may become as close to God as you are.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.