I am the wheat of God. Let me be ground by the teeth of the wild beasts, that I may be found the pure bread of Christ.” – St. Ignatius of Antioch, Romans 4
The character of St. Ignatius, as deduced from his own and the extant writings of his contemporaries, is that of a true athlete of Christ. The triple honor of apostle, bishop, and martyr was well merited by this energetic soldier of the Faith. An enthusiastic devotion to duty, a passionate love of sacrifice, and an utter fearlessness in the defense of Christian truth, were his chief characteristics. Zeal for the spiritual well-being of those under his charge breathes from every line of his writings. Ever vigilant lest they be infected by the rampant heresiesof those early days; praying for them, that their faith and courage may not be wanting in the hour ofpersecution; constantly exhorting them to unfailing obedience to their bishops; teaching them all Catholictruth; eagerly sighing for the crown of martyrdom, that his own blood may fructify in added graces in the soulsof his flock, he proves himself in every sense a true, pastor of souls, the good shepherd that lays down his life for his sheep.
From the Catholic Encyclopedia click here.