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St. Ignatius of Antioch

Born in the Province of Syria of the Roman Empire (modern-day Turkey/Syria) in the early 1st century, Ignatius is said to have converted to Christianity at a young age. Alongside St. Polycarp, he is identified as an Apostolic Father and a disciple of St. John the Apostle. Later in his life, Ignatius was appointed as Bishop of Antioch, succeeding St. Evodius (who, in turn, had succeeded St. Peter.) Little is known about Ignatius other than what is revealed to us in his 7 authentic epistles that he wrote on his way to martyrdom in Rome. Writing to 6 churches, Ignatius (who called himself “Theophorus”—God bearer) also wrote to St. Polycarp during this journey. His letters, while inspiring, also reveal what the earliest Christians believed and hence have great historical value. The date of his martyrdom in Rome is debated, however most historians agree it occurred around 110 AD. According to St. John Chrysostom, it occurred specifically in the Roman Colosseum.