To whom much has been given...

Wednesday, October 21, 2020 - 29th week of Ordinary Time - Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St. Luke 12, 39-48 - Watch, be ready: it is at the hour when you will not think of it that the Son of Man will come.

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17 October - The Ignatius in question is the successor of St. Peter after Evodus in the administration of the Church of Antioch, around the year 70. Historical reminder: the Christians of Jerusalem fled to Antioch at a time when persecution intensified at that time.

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Ignatius was less than 30 years old when he was elected bishop, and he was in charge not only of the Church of Antioch, but also of those of Syria and Silica. Ignatius' parents would have been among the first pagan converts of his city. Ignatius converted to Christianity from his youth because of his relationship with the first Christians, as his city was a place of passage for Peter and Paul and the other apostles. So they also know Ignatius.

When Ignatius was in charge of the Church of Antioch for thirty years, he was suddenly arrested for no apparent reason. According to the archives, after Domitian's death, the Church experienced a certain period of peace. But Pliny, governor of Bithynia from 111 to 113, wrote to Trajan, asking him what should be done and how he should treat the Christians, since he had spoken to two Christian women, and he molested them, but Trajan said: "Do not persecute the Christians, but if there is a refusal of the orders, condemn them immediately". Thus, it was declared that Ignatius himself was the source of the people's revolt at that time. He was arrested, and when he declared himself a Christian, he was chained up and sent to Rome, guarded by rabid soldiers until he reached the place of his execution. His journey is like the life of the cross, whether on land or on the sea, he says: "I fought wild animals, bound with ten leopards, an ever more angry army. In short, enduring injustice teaches me good".

The ship carrying Ignatius stayed for a long time in Smyrna, and many Christians wanted to meet him and see him with Polycarp. There were those who came from Ephesus, Magnesia and Tralle. Ignatius wrote a letter of thanks for them. He also wrote a letter to Rome, where his arrival was eagerly awaited. When the ship stopped again in Troy, Ignatius wrote to the churches of Philadelphia and Smyrna and to Polycarp. He constantly exhorted Christians not to give in to false teachings. Ignatius was very happy to face the battle for Christ at that time, but he also said that he was so weak and needed the prayers of believers to be able to face the trials of life. When Ignatius arrived in Rome, still in chains, he was taken to the arena of the beasts and thrown to them to be torn to pieces.