Saint Ignatius of Antioch “Theophorus”
Commemorated on December 20 and January 29 (Translation of Relics)
”My love is nailed to the Cross, and there is no fire of love in me for any earthly thing.”St Ignatius “Theophorus”
The saint was called “God-Bearer” (Theophoros), because he bore God in his heart and prayed unceasingly to Him. He also had this name because he was held in the arms of Christ, the incarnate Son of God.
Tradition suggests that when St Ignatius was a little boy, the Savior hugged him and said: “Unless you turn and become as little children, you shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven” (Mt. 18:3).
Tradition says that on his way to execution, St Ignatius unceasingly repeated the name of Jesus Christ. When they asked him why he was doing this, St Ignatius answered that this Name was written in his heart, and that he confessed with his lips Him Whom he always carried within. When the saint was devoured by the lions, his heart was not touched. When they cut open the heart, the pagans saw an inscription in gold letters: “Jesus Christ.” This glorious lover of the Lord Christ suffered in the year 106 in Rome.
Hymn of Praise
Saint Ignatius “Theophorus” the God-Bearer
by St. Nikolai Velimirovic
The bitter death of Christ dulled the stinger of death
And drove away for ever the irrational fear of death.
A flock of martyrs swarmed after Christ
In death–but, without fear, without complaints and without shrieks;
And many with rejoicing hurried to death
Because, before their deaths, they saw angels and heaven.
Saint Ignatius traveled to Rome;
Along the way, to the Living God, he prayed
As a son would pray to his parents,
That the teeth of the beasts grind him, grind him!
That for which he prayed to God, God granted him,
Behold, but the saint, having been ground, remained alive!
Alive and whole; until now, before the Table of Heaven
Bread made tender by torture for Christ–
Saint Ignatius, the courageous Theophorus,
Throughout the ages, he imparts courage to those being tortured.
There are two sufferings; there can only be two sufferings:
For justice or for sins, this cannot be hidden.
Pain for one’s sins is pain without hope,
But pain for justice is joy without sorrow.
As a light through rain that decorates the rainbow
Thus, the joy, through tears and through gentle sorrow,
On the spiritual heaven, Paradise and God is pictured–
That strengthens the souls of the holy martyrs.
The Prologue of Ohrid: Lives of Saints, Hymns, Reflections and Homilies for Every Day of the Year (Two Volumes) by St. Nikolai Velimirovic
http://prologue.orthodox.cn/January29.htmThe Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians
15:1 It is better to keep silence and to be, than to talk and not to be. It is a fine thing to teach, if the speaker practise. Now there is one teacher, who _spake and it came to pass:_ yea and even the things which He hath done in silence are worthy of the Father.
15:2 He that truly possesseth the word of Jesus is able also to hearken unto His silence, that he may be perfect; that through his speech he may act and through his silence he may be known.
15:3 Nothing is hidden from the Lord, but even our secrets are nigh unto Him. Let us therefore do all things as knowing that He dwelleth in us, to the end that we may be His temples and He Himself may be in us as our God. This is so, and it will also be made clear in our sight from the love which we rightly bear towards Him.
(from: Apostolic Fathers, English Translation by J.B. Lightfoot & Harmer, 1891 )
Humility is the key that opens Heaven’s gates
Only the humble enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
When emptied of us throughout our egoism, the whole God enters our.
Troparion St. Ignatius of Antioch (Tone 4)
By sharing in the ways of the Apostles, you became a successor to their throne. Through the practice of virtue, you found the way to divine contemplation,O inspired one of God; by teaching the word of truth without error, you defended the Faith,even to the shedding of your blood. Hieromartyr Ignatius, entreat Christ God to save our souls.