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Liturgical day: October 17th: St. Ignatius of Antioch, martyr and bishop

Gospel text (Jn 12,24-26): Jesus said, «Truly, I say to you, unless the grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much fruit». Jesus said, «Truly, I say to you, unless the grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much fruit. Those who love their life destroy it, and those who despise their life in this world keep it for everlasting life. Whoever wants to serve me, let him follow me and wherever I am, there shall my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him».

Today we celebrate St Ignatius, who was the third Bishop of Antioch (Turkey). He was sent from Syria to Rome, and became food for wild beasts on account of his testimony to Christ. The journey to martyrdom lasted several weeks. During this itinerary, Ignatius wrote 7 beautiful letters to various Christian communities (Ephesus, Philadelphia, Smyrna ...). These writings are a privileged testimony of the faith and life of the first Christian generations.

—Ignatius, like Christ, knew very well where he was going. The enthusiasm, illusion and love with which he expected martyrdom are impressive.