October 17th is the commemoration of the dukhrono of St. Ignatius of Antioch +107 according to the Liturgical Calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
Mor Ignatius Noorono was the third Patriarch of Antioch, the successor to St. Peter the chief of the Apostles. Church historian Eusebius of Caesarea writes that St. Ignatius succeeded St. Evodius, likewise St. John Chrysostom states St. Peter specifically chose St. Ignatius to be his successor. Ignatius is also called Theophorus in Greek which means 'God-Borne' because of the tradition that he was the child Christ held according to the Gospel of Matthew 18:2-3. Theophorus may also be interpreted as 'God-Bearer' because of the virtue practiced by Ignatius in witnessing God as is expected of every true believer. In Syriac he is given the title Noorono or 'Illuminator/fire-bearer'. St. Ignatius wrote 7 letters to root out the heresies which were plaguing the early Church. The letters are addressed to Ephesians, Magnesians, Trallians, Romans, Philadelphians, Smyrnaeans, & to his friend St. Polycarpos the bishop of Smyrna. He wrote these letters en route from Smyrna to Rome where he was to be executed.
St. Ignatius was ordered to be executed by Roman Emperor Trajan. Bishop Polycarp welcomed St. Ignatius on his way to Rome (to be executed) under armed guard. Several Syrian Christian delegates from other churches at Smyrna received him. At Rome he was thrown into the amphitheater filled with voracious lions to be devoured on October 17th. It is said that only the toughest of his bones remained. Thus Mor Ignatius Noorono attained the crown of martyrdom. His relics were then taken to Antioch & venerated by the pious believers. Emperor Theodosius II later moved his relics to another church in the city on December 20th.
Biography courtesy of, 'Martyrs, Saints and Prelates of the Syriac Orthodox Church'
Oh Mor Ignatius Noorono! Plead for us before God's throne of grace. Amen.
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