Ignatius of Antioch (c. 35 – c. 108), also known as Ignatius Theophorus, or Ignatius Nurono was an early Christian writer and bishop of Antioch. En route to Rome, where he met his martyrdom, Ignatius wrote a series of letters. This correspondence now forms a central part of the later collection known as the Apostolic Fathers. His letters also serve as an example of early Christian theology. Important topics they address include ecclesiology, the sacraments, and the role of bishops.
It is said Ignatius converted to Christianity at a young age. Later in his life, Ignatius was chosen to serve as Bishop of Antioch. Theodoret of Cyrrhus claimed that St. Peter himself left directions that Ignatius be appointed to the episcopal see of Antioch. A tradition arose that he was one of the children whom Jesus Christ took in his arms and blessed.
After serving in Antioch for over 35 years, Ignatius was arrested during the persecution of Trajan and sentenced to death in Rome.
During the journey to Rome, Ignatius and his entourage of soldiers made a number of stops in Asia Minor. Along the route Ignatius wrote six letters to the churches in the region and one to a fellow bishop, Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna.
Ignatius himself wrote that he would be thrown to the beasts, and in the fourth century Eusebius reports tradition that this came to pass, which is then repeated by Jerome, who is the first to explicitly mention "Lions". John Chrysostom is the first to allude to the Colosseum as the place of Ignatius' martyrdom.
After Ignatius' martyrdom in the Circus Maximus his remains were carried back to Antioch by his companions. More on Ignatius of Antioch