Lions became Ignatius’ sepulcher

Alexander Solzhenitsyn said that, “If we don’t know our own history, we will simply have to endure all the same mistakes, sacrifices

Alexander Solzhenitsyn said that, “If we don’t know our own history, we will simply have to endure all the same mistakes, sacrifices, and absurdities all over again.”

Nineteenth century church historian Philip Schaff wrote, “How shall we labour with any effect to build up the church if we have no thorough knowledge of her history? History is, and must ever continue to be, next to God’s word, the richest foundation of wisdom, and the surest guide to all successful practical activity.”

I began reading a history book last week entitled, “On this Day,” by Robert J. Morgan, with the sub-title, “365 Amazing and inspiring Stories about Saints, Martyrs and Heroes.”

The entry for today, Oct. 17, relates the story of a remarkable man by the name of Ignatius of Antioch who lived approximately 50 — 108 A.D.

Ignatius was a student of the apostle John; no doubt one his “little children” (1 John 2:1). There is not a lot of information about his ministry, except that he served faithfully as the third pastor of the church at Antioch for 40 years.

It was here that believers were first called “Christians” (Acts 11:26), and Ignatius was the first to use the term “Christianity.”

With the rise of persecution against Christianity, he was arrested and chained to 10 malicious soldiers. Ignatius said of them, “From Syria even to Rome I fight with wild beasts, by land and sea, by night and by day, being bound amidst 10 leopards, even a company of soldiers, who only grow worse when they are kindly treated.”

Ignatius and his 10 “leopards” travelled to Rome, passing through many places where the apostle Paul had ministered. On the way, Christians came to ask for his prayers. Some of them offered to try to obtain his freedom. However, Ignatius urged them not to use financial or political connections to deter his impending execution. He told them, “You cannot do me a greater favour than allow me to be poured out as an offering to God while the altar is ready.”

He prayed that they would not have to incur burial costs on his behalf and told them, “Let the beasts to become my sepulcher, that they may leave nothing of my body.”

His prayers were answered. On Oct. 17, 108AD, he became entertainment for Emperor Trajan as ravenous lions took his life and consumed his remains.

He died, but his testimony did not. In keeping with Revelation 13:14, his “good deeds followed him.” Fourteen hundred years later, a young Spanish soldier read Ignatius’ story and was so moved by it that he dedicated his life to Christ and changed his name to Ignatius … but that is another page in Christian history.

Pastor Ross Helgeton is senior pastor at Erskine Evangelical Free Church.

Just Posted

MP Sorenson: New Year, New Beginning?

Economic outlook not so bright in coming months

Stettler Library has lots programs for public

Memberships are free for county and town residents

MLA: You don’t vote for the tail

Bureaucracy overtakes elected representatives

Our Town Stettler: Convalescent Hospital opened in 1954 first of its kind

Gave Stettler forward-thinking reputation for helping an ageing population

WATCH: World-renowned illusionist, magician, escapist performs in Stettler

Matt Johnson performs two sold-out shows at Stettler Performing Arts Centre

Woman offers luxury Alberta home for just $25 and a flair for the written word

Alla Wagner ran into health problems, which forced her to list the 5,000-square-foot estate at market value

46% of Canadians $200 or less away from financial insolvency: poll

45% cent of those surveyed say they will need to go further into debt to pay their living and family expenses

World economy forecast to slow in 2019 amid trade tensions

For Canada, the IMF’s estimate for growth in 2019 was 1.9 per cent, down from expected global growth of 3.5 per cent

‘Gotti’ leads Razzie nominations, Trump up for worst actor

The nominations were announced on Monday, Jan. 21 with some movies earning up to six nominations

PHOTO: Eyes turn to heavens to witness super blood wolf moon

These two photos show the lunar eclipse about 30 minutes apart from each other.

Skaters stranded in Saint John, NB, amid storm on last day of championships

More than half of the flights out of the city’s airport were cancelled due to the weather

Call for tighter bail rules after Saudi sex-crime suspect vanishes

Mohammed Zuraibi Alzoabi was facing charges related to alleged sexual assault, criminal harassment, assault and forcible confinement of a woman

Most Read