Dear Augustine Ignatius,
Today I have carried you for a little more than 39 weeks, and I will gladly carry you until you are ready to be born. But I have a confession to make: I really wanted today to be your birthday. Not because I am exceptionally exhausted and excited to meet you (although I am), but because today is such a special day. October 17th marks the feast day of Saint Ignatius of Antioch, whom you were named after.
I wanted to write to you and tell you why we chose to name you after him, in case you ever wondered. Essentially, he was one of the most badass bishops of the early Church. He was born in Syria, shortly after Jesus died, and was a convert to Christianity and student of 'the beloved disciple' John. He was ordained the second or third bishop of Syria by the Apostle Peter around the year 69. Around 107, he was brought to Rome under Emperor Trajan and was sentenced to death after refusing to renounce his faith in Christ -- a death that meant being torn apart by lions.
Before his death Ignatius wrote seven letters to his fellow Christians, and these letters are held dearly by the Church and by your dad and me. Ignatius spoke boldly about the truth of God, corrected misunderstandings and heresies with great understanding, and cared so deeply for the souls of others. His understanding of the real presence of the Eucharist, his willingness to face death for the sake of the Gospel, and his dedication to the authority of the Catholic Church (a phrase tradition holds he was the first to use in writing) -- his words meant so much to us as we were contemplating joining the Church, and they continue to strengthen us as we grow in our faith still.
I hope you will be inspired by his bravery and intense love for Christ -- no matter what day you choose as your birthday... because it's 8pm and I'm thinking today won't be it, and that's okay.