Saint Ignatius of Antioch (+107) joyfully ‘went to the lions’, as the saying goes, meeting his martyrdom in the Coliseum, perhaps less than a decade after the death of the last Apostle, John the Evangelist. Ignatius was the epi-scopos – literally the ‘overseer’ – of the ancient diocese of Antioch, where the ‘disciples were first called Christians’, and where Saint Peter was first a bishop, before going to Rome.
I am writing to all the churches to let it be known that I will gladly die for God if only you do not stand in my way. I plead with you:

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