Born at the turn of the 2nd Century, studied in the pagan philosophy of the day, he became a bold witness of the Christian Faith and among the earliest Christian martyrs in history. St. Justin Martyr's rhetorical skills and writings are captured in his famous "Apologies," a defense of Christianity for a budding Church. He is the patron saint of speakers, apologists, and philosophers. For more about this saint please click on the image. Peace be with you!
In today's Office of Readings we encounter a reading from the Acts of the martyrdom of Saint Justin and his companion saints. Saint Justin Martyr (ca. -165 A.D.) was born at the beginning of the second century in Nablus, in Samaria, of a pagan Greek family. He was an earnest seeker after truth, and studied many systems of philosophy before being led, through Platonism, to Christianity. While remaining a layman, he accepted the duty of making the truth known, and travelled from place to place proclaiming the gospel. In 151 he traveled from Ephesus to Rome, where he opened a school of philosophy and wrote defenses and expositions of Christianity, which have survived to this day and are the earliest known writings of their kind. In the persecution of 165, in the reign of the emperor Marcus Aurelius, he was denounced as a Christian, arrested and beheaded. Justin treats the Greek philosophy that he studied as mostly true, but incomplete. In contrast to the Hebrew tendency to view God as making revelations to them and to no-one else, he follows the parable of the Sower, and sees God as sowing the seed of wisdom throughout the world, to grow wherever the soil would receive it. For a reflection, "I have accepted the true doctrines of the Christians," please click on the image. Peace be with you!