As the soldiers took him from Syra to Rome for execution he continued his letters and in one to the Romans urged the Christian not to hinder his martyrdom:
4:1 I write to all the churches, and I bid all men know, that of my own free will I die for God, unless ye should hinder me. I exhort you, be ye not an unseasonable kindness to me. Let me be given to the wild beasts, for through them I can attain unto God. I am God's wheat, and I am ground by the teeth of wild beasts that I may be found pure bread [of Christ].Let us pray that the Lord will give us bishops like St. Ignatius who loved Jesus Christ so zealously and served the flock so faithfully. We desperately need them!
4:2 Rather entice the wild beasts, that they may become my sepulchre and may leave no part of my body behind, so that I may not, when I am fallen asleep, be burdensome to any one. Then shall I be truly a disciple of Jesus Christ, when the world shall not so much as see my body. Supplicate the Lord for me, that through these instruments I may be found a sacrifice to God.
St. Ignatius of Antioch, pray for us.