St. Ignatius the God-Bearer icon

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Orthodox icon of Saint Ignatius the God-Bearer (Theophoros).

Commemorated December 20.

The Hieromartyr Ignatius the God-Bearer, was a disciple of the holy Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian, as was also St Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna (February 23). St Ignatius was the second bishop of Antioch, and successor to Bishop Euodius, Apostle of the Seventy. Accoriding to Tradition when St Ignatius was a little boy, Jesus held him and said: Unless you turn and become as little children, you shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven (Mt. 18:3). The saint was called  God-Bearer (Theophoros) because he bore God in his heart and prayed unceasingly to Him and because he was held in the arms of Christ.