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Saint Justin

Saint Justin
  • Century: 2nd Century
  • Patronage: -
  • Feast Day: June 1st

St. Justin was born in 100, and was an early Christian Apologist.  Most of his works are lost, but two Apologies and a Dialogue did survive.  The Roman Catholic Church considers him a saint.  Most of what we know about him comes from his own writings.  He was born in Nablus, Palestine into a pagan family, and defined himself as a Gentile.  He tells us that he received a Greek education.  He wanted to learn more about philosophical issues, but not one of them could explain God to him.  He befriended an old Palestinian or Syrian Christian man, who engaged him in a dialogue about God and spoke of the testimony of the prophets as being more reliable than the reasoning of philosophers.  He tells us that this “conversation” was what kindled in him a love of Christ and led him to embrace Christianity.  He was furthered influenced by the fearless way Christians were embracing executions.  

After his conversion, he adopted the dress of a philosopher and traveled about teaching.  During the reign of Antoninus Pius, he arrived in Rome and started his own school.  One of his students was Tatian, and in the reign of Marcus Aurelius, he disputed with other philosophers of his time.  For this reason, he was denounced and turned into authorities, according to Eusebius and Tatian.  He was tried, along with six of his companions.  He was beheaded in what is believed to be the year 165.  His court record is preserved in the Martyrdom.  His relics are held in the Church of St. John the Baptist in Sacrofano, a few miles north of Rome.  In 1882, Pope Leo XIII had a Mass and an Office composed for his Feast Day, which was April 14th.  In 1968 his Feast Day was moved to June 1st, and continues to be venerated then.  

Practical Take Away

St. Justin was born in 100, and was an early Christian Apologist.  Most of his works are lost, but two Apologies and a Dialogue did survive.  The Roman Catholic Church considers him a saint.  Most of what we know about him comes from his own writings.  He was born in Nablus, Palestine into a pagan family, and defined himself as a Gentile.  He tells us that he received a Greek education.  He wanted to learn more about philosophical issues, but not one of them could explain God to him.  He befriended an old Palestinian or Syrian Christian man, who engaged him in a dialogue about God and spoke of the testimony of the prophets as being more reliable than the reasoning of philosophers.  He tells us that this “conversation” was what kindled in him a love of Christ and led him to embrace Christianity.  He was furthered influenced by the fearless way Christians were embracing executions.  He was martyred for the faith in the year 165.