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Ignatius of Antioch

Ignatius of Antioch (died AD 107) was the third bishop of Antioch, succeeding Euodius around 68. Ignatius was most likely a disciple of both Apostles Peter and John. Several of his letters have survived to this day; he is generally considered to be one of early Church Fathers, and a saint by both the Catholic, who celebrate his feast day on February 1, and the Orthodox churches, who celebrate his feast day on October 17.

He was arrested by the Roman authorities and transported to Rome to die in the arena. They hoped to make an example of him and thus discourage Christianity from spreading. Instead, he met with and encouraged Christians all along his route, and wrote letters to the Ephesians, Magnesians, Trallians, Philadelphians, Smyrneans, and Romans, as well as a letter to Polycarp, who according to Christian tradition was Bishop of Smyrna and a disciple of John the Evangelist. These letters proved to be influential in the development of Christian theology.