THE HOLY MARTYR JUSTIN THE PHILOSOPHER

June 1

From the Prologue

Justin was born of Greek parents in the Samaritan town of Shechem, later called Nablus one hundred-five years after Christ. He zealously sought wisdom among philosophers, at first with the Stoics and after that with the Peripatetics, the Pythagorians and finally with the Platonists. Even though Plato's philosophy did not satisfy him, nevertheless, he adhered to it the longest time not having anything else that would attract him more. By God's Providence an honorable elder encountered Justin who confused him concerning the philosophy of Plato and persuaded him that men cannot know the truth about God unless God reveals it and God revealed the truth about Himself in the books of Holy Scripture. Justin began to read Holy Scripture and became a thoroughly convinced Christian. However, he did not want to be baptized nor to be called a Christian until he was personally convinced of the falseness of all those accusations which the pagans raised against the Christians. Coming to Rome in a philosopher's dolman [cape], he quickly achieved great respect there as well as many followers. He was present at the martyrdom of St. Ptolemy and St. Lucian. Witnessing the tortures of innocent Christians, Justin wrote an Apologia (Defense) of Christians and Christian teachings and presented it to the Emperor Antoninus and to the Senate. The emperor read the Apologia with care and ordered the persecution of Christians to cease. Justin took a copy of the emperor's decree and, with it, journeyed to Asia where, with the help of this decree, saved many persecuted Christians. After that he again returned to Rome. When a persecution began under Emperor Marcus Aurelius, he wrote another Apologia and sent it to the emperor. A disreputable philosopher Crescens, a Cynic, out of envy accused him of being a Christian because Justin had always overcome him in all debates and Justin found himself in prison. Desiring the death of Justin and fearing that he [Justin] would somehow justify himself before the court, Crescens seized the opportunity and somehow poisoned Justin in prison. So ended the earthly life of this great defender of the Christian Faith who took up habitation in blessed eternity in the year 166 A.D.





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