17 October 2021 (MIA)
Macedonian Orthodox Church Calendar
The Hieromartyr Hierotheos
He was a friend of Dionysius the Areopagite, and received the Christian faith from the Apostle Paul a little after Dionysius. This Apostle later made him bishop in Athens. At the time of the Dormition of the most holy Mother of God, Hierotheos arrived in Jerusalem and took part in the funeral. With his divine singing, he brought heartfelt joy to many and showed himself to be greatly inspired. He laboured greatly for the sake of the Gospel, brought many pagans to the truth, governed his flock well and finally ended a martyr for Christ, who gave him a twofold wreath in His heavenly Kingdom: of the hierarch and of the martyr.
St. Ignatius of Antioch
St. Ignatius was a convert to the Faith and a disciple of St. John the Evangelist. St. Chrysostom says that St. Peter appointed him Bishop of Antioch, which See he governed for forty years. The saint longed to shed to shed his blood for Christ but the opportunity was not granted him during the persecution under Domitian. While the short reign of Nerva lasted the Church was in peace, but under Trajan persecution broke out anew. In the year 107, the Emperor came to Antioch. St. Ignatius was seized and brought before him. Having confessed Christ, he was condemned to be taken in chains to Rome, there to be exposed to the wild beasts. During this last journey he was welcomed by the faithful of Smyrna, Troas, and other places along the way. He arrived in Rome just as the public spectacles in the amphitheatre were drawing to a close. The faithful of the city came out to meet him. He was at once hurried to the amphitheatre, where two fierce lions immediately devoured him. He ended his saintly life by a glorious death, exclaiming, “May I become agreeable bread to the Lord.” His remains were carried to Antioch, where they were interred. In the reign of Theodosius they were transferred to a church within the city. At present they are venerated in Rome. During his long journey he addressed seven epistles to various congregations, in which, as a disciple of the Apostles, he testifies to the dogmatic character of Apostolic Christianity.