ST. IGNATIUS, Bishop of Antioch, was the disciple of St. John. When Domitian persecuted the Church, St. Ignatius obtained peace for his own flock by fasting and prayer. But for his part he desired to suffer with Christ, and to prove himself a perfect disciple. In the year 107, Trajan came to Antioch, and forced the Christians to choose between apostasy and death. "Who art thou, poor devil," the emperor said when Ignatius was brought before him, "who settest our commands at naught?" "Call not him 'poor devil,'" Ignatius answered, "who bears God within him." And when the emperor questioned him about his meaning, Ignatius explained that he bore in his heart Christ crucified for his sake. Thereupon the emperor condemned him to be torn to pieces by wild beasts at Rome. St. Ignatius thanked God, Who had so honored him, "binding him in the chains of Paul, His apostle."
He journeyed to Rome, guarded by soldiers, and with no fear except of losing the martyr's crown. He was devoured by lions in the Roman amphitheatre. The wild beasts left nothing of his body, except a few bones, which were reverently treasured at Antioch, until their removal to the Church of St. Clement at Rome, in 637. After the martyr's death, several Christians saw him in vision standing before Christ, and interceding for them.
Reflection. —Ask St. Ignatius to obtain for you the grace of profiting by all you have to suffer, and rejoicing in it as a means of likeness to your crucified Redeemer. you!
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
Prayers and Reading for Today’s MASS
Introit • Gal. 6, 14
God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ: by Whom the world is crucified to me, and I to the world. Ps. 131, 1. O Lord, remember David, and all his meekness. Gory be …
Have regard to our weakness, O almighty God, and, since the burden of our own deeds is heavy upon us, let the glorious intercession of blessed Ignatius, Thy Martyr and Bishop, be our protection. Through our Lord.
Epistle • Rom. 8, 35-39
Lesson from the Epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to the Romans.
[There is no condemnation to them that, being justified by Christ, walk not according to the flesh, but according to the spirit. Their strong hope and love of God.]
BRETHREN, Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation? or distress? or famine? or nakedness? or danger? or persecution? or the sword?
(As it is written: For thy sake we are put to death all the day long. We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.) But in all these things we overcome, because of him that hath loved us. For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor might, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Gradual • Ecclus. 44, 16
Behold, a great priest, who in his days pleased God. There was not any found like to him, kept the law of the Most High.
Alleluia, alleluia. Gal. 2, 19, 20. With Christ I am nailed to the cross: I live, now not I, but Christ liveth in me. Alleluia.
Gospel • John 12, 24-26
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. John.
[The anointing of Christ's feet. His riding into Jerusalem upon an ass. A voice from heaven.]
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, Amen, amen I say to you, unless the grain of wheat falling into the ground die, Itself remaineth alone. But if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world, keepeth it unto life eternal. If any man minister to me, let him follow me; and where I am, there also shall my minister be. If any man minister to me, him will my Father honour.
Offertory • Ps. 8, 6, 7
Thou hast crowned him with glory and honor. And hast set him over the works of Thy hands, O Lord.
Graciously accept, O Lord, the sacrifices dedicated to the merits of blessed Ignatius, Thy Martyr and Bishop, and grant that they may be profitable for our eternal help. Through our Lord.
I am Christ’s corn; let me be ground by the teeth of beasts, that I may be made into clean bread.
Refreshed by partaking of Thy sacred gifts, we beseech Thee, O Lord our God, that by the intercession of blessed Ignatius, Thy Martyr and Bishop we may feel the power of the sacrament which we worship. Through our Lord.