Early Church Fathers
A Second Epistle of Ignatius to St. John.
His friend1 Ignatius to John the holy presbyter.
If thou wilt give me leave, I desire to go up to Jerusalem, and see the faithful2 saints who are there, especially Mary the mother, whom they report to be an object of admiration and of affection to all. For who would not rejoice to behold and to address her who bore the true God from her3 own womb, provided he is a friend of our faith and religion? And in like manner [I desire to see] the venerable James, who is surnamed Just, whom they relate to be very like Christ Jesus in appearance,4 in life, and in method of conduct, as if he were a twin-brother of the same womb. They say that, if I see him, I see also Jesus Himself, as to all the features and aspect of His body. Moreover, [I desire to see] the other saints, both male and female. Alas! why do I delay? Why am I kept back? Kind5 teacher, bid me hasten [to fulfil my wish], and fare thou well. Amen.