Saint Ignatius, of Antioch, surnamed Theo-phorus, one of the primitive fathers of the church, died Dec. 20, 107 or 115, at Rome according to some, but most probably at Antioch, as others have it. He is reckoned one of the apostolic fathers. Eusebius says that he was appointed bishop of Antioch in 69. Baroriius and Natalis Alexander make him bishop of the gentile Christians residing in that city, Evo-dius being at the same time bishop of the Jewish converts. The Martyrium Ignatii, which professes to have been written by an eye-witness of his martyrdom, affirms that he was a disciple of St. John, and ordained by the apostles themselves. After having watched over the steadfastness of his flock during the persecution of Domitian, he was condemned by Trajan to be thrown to the wild beasts in the Roman amphitheatre, where, according to the Martyrium, he suffered. The Greeks celebrate his feast on Dec. 20, and the Latins on Feb. 1. Daring his journey to Rome Ignatius wrote seven epistles enumerated by Eusebius and Jerome. They are addressed to the Romans, to Polycarp, and to various Asiatic churches.
At present there are fifteen letters extant ascribed to Ignatius. The seven mentioned by Eusebius, according to the shorter Greek recension, are generally accepted as genuine by Roman Catholic theologians; the others are considered spurious. But a warm controversy has long existed between the learned of various Protestant denominations regarding the genuineness of all or some of the first seven. A Syriac version of the epistles to the Ephesians, Romans, and Polycarp was brought from a convent in the Nitrian desert to the British museum in 1843, and edited in 1845 by Cureton. It was maintained by the editor that these are the only genuine epistles of Ignatius; and this conclusion was adopted by Dr. R. A. Lipsius, Bunsen, and some eminent Presbyterian authorities. Episcopal writers for the most part contend that all of the seven epistles are genuine. The best editions of the Ignatian writings are in Cautelier's Patres AEvi Apostolici (2 vols., Paris, 1672; 2d and more complete ed., Amsterdam, 1724), those by Jacobson (Oxford, 1838) and Petermann (Leipisic, 1849), and Cure-ton's Corpus Ignatianum (London, 1849).
Saint Ignatius, patriarch of Constantinople, born about 798, died Oct. 23, 878. He was the youngest son of the emperor Michael I., and his original name was Nicetas; but on the deposition of his father by Leo the Armenian, he was made a eunuch by Leo and entered a monastery, assuming the name of Ignatius. He was raised to the patriarchate in 846. He was an enemy of the iconoclasts, and would not suffer Gregorius Asbestus, bishop of Syracuse, to be present at his consecration, because of his heterodoxy. In 857 he refused to admit Bardas, brother of the empress Theodora, as a communicant, on account of his reported immorality, whereupon the offender caused him to be deposed, and Photius to be elected patriarch in his place. After his deposition he was treated with the greatest cruelty, and banished to Mitylene; but when Basil the Macedonian ascended the throne in 867, he was recalled.