St. Ignatius Theophorus, Bishop of Antioch
Ignatius is traditionally said to have been one of the little children
whom Jesus bade the Apostles imitate. There is little doubt that he was
indeed a disciple of the Twelve: his name is linked especially with those
of John, Paul, and Peter. (He is listed as the second successor to Peter
in the see of Antioch.) Around 107, during Trajan's persecution, he was
taken to Rome and sent to his death in the arena.
Numerous letters have been attributed to Ignatius, and at least seven are
authentic. These have sufficed to establish "the Godbearer," as Ignatius
is traditionally styled, in the front rank of early Christian theologians.
His remarkably developed eucharistic ecclesiology, emphasizing the
bishop's central role in the community, has drawn particular comment from
Norman Hugh Redington