The Letters of Ignatius

Ignatius wrote the first three letters while docked at port in Smyrna. He wrote these letters so the priests and bishops he met with could take them back to their congregations. Ignatius' trip to Rome was quite popular and many people traveled great distances to meet him at the various stops his ship made. While stopped in Smyrna Ignatius also met with his good friend Polycarp. Below are links to the Letters:

The Letter to the Ephesians

The Letter to the Magnesians

The Letter to the Trailians


Ignatius' stop was quite short. The next stop Ignatius' boat made was in Traos. Here he wrote three more letters, two to churches in the area, and one to his friend Polycarp.

The Letter to the Philadelphians

The Letter to the Smyrnaeans

The Letter to Polycarp


While in Traos, Ignatius also found out that the Christians in Rome were planning to stop the execution. Ignatius did not agree with their plan, however, because he felt that the only way to attain heaven was to become a martyr. Therefore, Ignatius wrote a letter to the Church at Rome. This letter is annotated.

The Letter to the Romans

Ignatius was set on becoming a martyr, and his followers wrote a letter about it.

The Martyrdom of Ignatius

For a more on martyrdom and the life of the Romans, see:

The Second Apology of Justin

The Apology of Justin is a court defense of the Christian faith. Although Justin wrote this apology in an attempt to avoid martyrdom, one can tell by reading it that he did not do the best job. In fact, there are parts of the letter where he is almost mocking the Romans who are killing the Christians. Justin states that for a Christian to meet death is for him to truly live. For a Christian's life here on earth is merely a gateway to the true life, eternity in heaven. Justin, like Ignatius and Polycarp, also became a martyr.