St Ignatius of Antioch healing oil
Born in Syria, St Ignatius converted to Christianity and eventually became bishop of Antioch. In the year 107, Emperor Trajan visited Antioch and forced the Christians there to choose between death and apostasy. Ignatius would not deny Christ and thus condemned to put to death in Rome.
Ignatius well known for the seven letters he wrote on the long journey from Antioch to Rome. Five of these letters are to churches in Asia Minor; they urge the Christians there to remain faithful to God and to obey their superiors. He warns them against heretical doctrines, providing them with the solid truths of the Christian faith.
The sixth letter was to Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, who later martyred for the faith. The final letter begs the Christians in Rome not to try to stop his martyrdom. “The only thing I ask of you is to allow me to offer the libation of my blood to God. I am the wheat of the Lord; may I be ground by the teeth of the beasts to become the immaculate bread of Christ.”
Ignatius bravely met the lions in the Circus Maximus.
Antioch was a seaport in Syria on the Mediterranean Sea, just north of the country of Lebanon. Antioch was important to early Christianity, especially after the Resurrection of Our Lord, and the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. Followers of Jesus were first called Christians in Antioch (Acts 11:26). Paul began three missionary journeys from Antioch. It believed that Matthew wrote his Gospel there. Antioch was one of 5 Patriarchates of early Christianity under Constantine after the Edict of Milan in 313 AD, along with Jerusalem, Byzantium (renamed Constantinople), Alexandria, and Rome.
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