Today is the Feast of St. Justin Martyr
(100 – 165 A.D.)
St. Justin Martyr was a pagan philosopher from Samaria. After meeting a Syrian Christian who convinced him that the biblical prophets were more trustworthy in the pursuit of truth than worldly philosophers, St. Justin renounced his paganism and studied Sacred Scripture. The bold witness of the early Christian martyrs led to his own conversion to the Catholic faith. St. Justin then used his philosophical and rhetorical skills to defend Christianity, the “true philosophy,” against rival pagan philosophies and political powers which maligned and persecuted the Church. He traveled throughout Asia Minor teaching, arguing, and persuading others to accept baptism and follow Christ, before arriving in Rome where he settled and started his own school. Justin was arrested for his faith in Rome and ordered to make sacrifice to false gods, which he refused. He was martyred by beheading along with several of his students. Justin Martyr is famous for writing the Church’s first “Apology,” or defense of the Christian faith, showing that Christianity was superior to the pagan religions, and that Christians were model citizens and should not be mistreated. His writings are a prime source of the history of the primitive Church in worship and sacraments, including the Holy Eucharist. He is one of the first great apologists of the Church, and for this he is the patron saint of speakers, apologists, and philosophers.
You can kill us [Christians] but you cannot do us any real harm.
– St. Justin Martyr
St. Justin Martyr, Early Church Father, defender of the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, pray for us.
Be not afraid! And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always. Holy Family pray for us. Amen.