Ignatius of Antioch.
Counted among the apostolic fathers.
Epistle to the Ephesians
Epistle to the Magnesians
Epistle to the Trallians
Epistle to the Romans
Epistle to the Philadelphians
Epistle to the Smyrnaeans
Epistle to Polycarp
Martyrdom of Ignatius.
Ignatius at EarlyChurch.
Ignatius in the Catholic Encyclopedia.
Ignatius was bishop of Antioch early in century II, and was martyred
in Rome during the principate of Trajan (98-117). Three different
recensions of his epistles are
extant, of which the longer recension is considered spurious, the
middle recension probably genuine, and the shorter recension an
abridgement of the middle.
Ignatius was a contemporary of Papias
and Polycarp. I have a page listing
parallels between the gospel of
Matthew, believed by many to have been written in Syria, and the
epistles of Ignatius.
Jerome, On Famous Men 16:
Ignatius Antiochenae ecclesiae tertius
post Petrum apostolum episcopus, persecutionem commovente Traiano
damnatus ad bestias, Romam vinctus mittitur. cumque navigans Smyrnam
venisset, ubi Polycarpus auditor Ioannis episcopus erat, scripsit
unam epistolam ad Ephesios, alteram ad Magnesianos, tertiam ad
Trallenses, quartam ad Romanos, et inde egrediens scripsit ad
Philadelpheos, et ad Smyrnaeos, et proprie ad Polycarpum, commendans
illi Antiochensem ecclesiam, in qua et de evangelio quod nuper a me
translatum est super persona Christi ponit testimonium dicens:
Ego vero et post resurrectionem in carne eum vidi, et credo quia sit.
et quando venit ad Petrum et ad eos qui eum Petro erant dixit eis:
Ecce, palpate me et videte, quia non sum daemonium incorporale.
et statim tetigerunt eum, et crediderunt. dignum autem videtur,
quia tanti viri fecimus mentionem et de epistola eius quam ad
Romanos scribit, pauca ponere: De Syria usque ad Romam pugno ad bestias,
in mari et in terra, nocte dieque ligatus cum decem leopardis,
hoc est, militibus, qui me custodiunt, quibus et cum benefeceris,
peiores fiunt. iniquitas autem eorum, mea doctrina est, sed non
idcirco iustificatus sum. utinam fruar bestiis, quae mihi sunt
praeparatae, quas et oro mihi veloces esse ad interitum, et alliciam
eas ad comedendum me, ne sicut aliorum martyrum, non audeant corpus
meum attingere. quod si venire noluerint, ego vim faciam, ego me
ingeram, ut devorer. ignoscite mihi, filioli: quid mihi prosit,
ego scio. nunc incipio Christi esse discipulus, nihil de his quae
videntur desiderans, ut Iesum Christum inveniam. ignis, crux, bestiae,
confractio ossium, membrorum divisio, et totius corporis contritio,
et tota tormenta diaboli, in me veniant, tantum ut Christo fruar.
cumque iam damnatus esset ad bestias, ardore patiendi, cum rugientes
audiret leones, ait: Frumentum Christi sum, dentibus bestiarum molar,
ut panis mundus inveniar. passus est anno undecimo Traiani, reliquiae
corporis eius Antiochiae iacent extra portam Daphniticam in
Ignatius, third bishop of the church of
Antioch after Peter the apostle, condemned to the wild beasts during
the persecution of Trajan, was sent bound to Rome, and when he had
come on his voyage as far as Smyrna, where Polycarp the hearer of John
was bishop, he wrote one epistle to the Ephesians, another to the
Magnesians, a third to the Trallians, a fourth to the Romans, and
going thence he wrote to the Philadelphians and to the Smyrneans
and especially to Polycarp, commending to him the church at Antioch.
In this last he bore witness to the gospel which I have recently
translated, in respect of the person of Christ, saying: I indeed
saw him in the flesh after the resurrection and I believe that he is,
and when he came to Peter and those who were with Peter he said to
them: Behold, feel me and see me, that I am not an incorporeal
daemon, and straightway they touched him and believed. Moreover it
seems worthwhile, inasmuch as we have made mention of such a man
and of the epistle which he wrote to the Romans, to give a few
quotations: From Syria even unto Rome I fight with wild beasts,
by land and by sea, by night and by day, being bound amidst
ten leopards, that is, soldiers, who guard me and who only become
worse when they are treated well. Their wrongdoing, however is my
schoolmaster, but I am not thereby justified. May I have joy of the
beasts that are prepared for me; and I pray that I may find them
ready; I will even coax them to devour me quickly that they may not
treat me as they have some whom they have refused to touch through
fear. And, if they are unwilling, I will compel them to devour me.
Forgive me, my little children; I know what is expedient for me.
Now do I begin to be a disciple, desiring none of the things visible,
that I may attain unto Jesus Christ. Let fire and cross and attacks
of wild beasts, let wrenching of bones, cutting apart of limbs,
crushing of the whole body, tortures of the devil, let all these
come upon me if only I may attain unto the joy which is in Christ.
When he had been condemned to the wild beasts and with zeal for
martyrdom heard the lions roaring, he said: I am the grain of Christ.
I am ground by the teeth of the wild beasts so that I may be found the
bread of the world. He was put to death the eleventh year of Trajan,
and the relics of his body lie in Antioch outside the Daphnitic gate
in the cemetery.
Irenaeus, Against Heresies
Quemadmodum quidam de nostris
dixit, propter martyrium in deum adiudicatus ad bestias:
Quoniam frumentum sum Christi, et per dentes bestiarum
molor, ut mundus panis dei inveniar.
Wherefore a certain one of ours
said when he had been condemned to the beasts on account
of his testimony to God: Because I am the grain of Christ,
and am ground through the teeth of beasts, so that I
may be found to be the pure bread of God.
This quotation comes from Ignatius to the Romans 4.1.
Note 8 on page 403 of this volume of W. Wigan Harvey,
Libros Quinque Adversus
Haereses, attributes the following Greek version
to a manuscript, kept in the Bodleian Library, of the
Acts of Ignatius: