The second bishop of Antioch after Peter's departure from that city, Ignatius provides us with tremendous insight into the life of the early Church. The man heard the Apostle John preach the Gospel! While being transported from Antioch to Rome, where he was to be fed to the lions, Ignatius penned seven epistles. Dr. Kevin Vost and I invite you to read Ignatius' epistles as we pass through the holiest time in the Church's year, and then call in to share your thoughts with other listeners on Saturday, April 6th, on EWTN Radio's "St. Joseph Radio Presents ..." Ignatius' epistles are available online free of charge (click here for text, or here to download audio files).
In Ignatius' seven epistles you will:
- Discover a saint who wanted to share the sufferings of Christ
- Find the first written reference to Christ's Church as "the Catholic Church."
- Find testimony to our belief in Jesus' full humanity and divinity
- Read of the absolute centrality of the Eucharist in Christian life
- See clear teaching on Christ's Real Presence in the Eucharist
- Hear repeated testimony to the Church's ministerial structure of Bishop - Priest - Deacon
- Read historical testimony of Peter and Paul's leadership of the Roman Church
- Garner exciting testimony to the preeminent place held by the Church of Rome in the earliest days of Church
I recently ordered Dr. Kenneth Howell's Ignatius of Antioch & Polycarp of Smyrna, a brand new translation and commentary for the writings of these two early bishops and martyrs. I can't wait to dig into it!