Thursday, October 17, 2013

October 17: Saint Ignatius

St. Ignatius of Antioch
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam


Saint Ignatius lived at the same time as Saint Peter and the other apostles. In fact, it was Peter himself who made Ignatius bishop of Antioch. Ignatius had a profound love for Jesus, and as he traveled through Greece and Asia Minor, he wrote seven beautiful letters that encouraged other Christians to stay true to Christ. In the year 107, Ignatius was sentenced to death because he would not renounce the Christian faith. But Ignatius was not afraid. He wrote, “I would rather die and come to Jesus Christ than be king over the entire earth.”


Saint Ignatius’ encouraging letters were not just helpful for the people he wrote to. Throughout the centuries, Christians have read them and found strength and wisdom in his words. Today, write your own seven letters of encouragement to people you know who could use it. The letters don’t have to be long – even the words, “I am praying for you today” are full of hope and love. And even though seven letters sounds like a lot, we all can easily think of seven people who could use a kind word. Priests, religious sisters or brothers, your bishop and teachers are a good start. Do you know anybody who has health problems? What about a mom with lot of little ones? 

Saint Ignatius, pray for us!

More reading for parents:

EWTNCatholic Encyclopedia
Catholic Online