Ignatius on the Incarnation

Today is the feast of the our Apostolic Father among the Saints, Ignatius of Antioch. On the way to his martyrdom in Rome in the early 2nd century, he wrote a number of letters to churches his route bypassed. In his letter to the church of Ephesus, he makes reference to the power of the Incarnation. I reproduce here the entirety of chapter 19 in the Lightfoot translation (originally published in 1869).

1. And hidden from the prince of this world were the virginity of Mary and her child-bearing and likewise also the death of the Lord — three mysteries to be cried aloud — the which were wrought in the silence of God.
2. How then were they made manifest to the ages? A star shone forth in the heaven above all the stars; and its light was unutterable, and its strangeness caused amazement; and all the rest of the constellations with the sun and moon formed themselves into a chorus about the star; but the star itself far outshone them all; and there was perplexity to know whence came this strange appearance which was so unlike them.
3. From that time forward every sorcery and every spell was dissolved, the ignorance of wickedness vanished away, the ancient kingdom was pulled down, when God appeared in the likeness of man unto newness of everlasting life; and that which had been perfected in the counsels of God began to take effect. Thence all things were perturbed, because the abolishing of death was taken in hand.

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