The Word Among Us

October 2008 Issue

The Witness of a Joy-Filled Sacrifice

What sets St. Ignatius of Antioch apart?

By: Robert Kennedy

"I plead with you. Do not do me an unseasonable kindness." So Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, wrote to the Christians in Rome late one summer exactly nineteen hundred years ago. "Let me be fodder for wild beasts—that is how I can get to God. I am God's wheat and I am being ground by the teeth of wild beasts to make a pure loaf for Christ."

What a curious request! When he wrote this letter, Ignatius was a prisoner being transported to Rome under sentence, literally, to be fed...

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