Prayer to Saint Justin, Martyr
O God who revealed to Saint Justin in the sufferings of the Cross, the great wisdom of Jesus Christ, grant that through the pleadings of Your Martyr and our Patron we may overcome the many errors that surround us and that our faith may grow ever stronger. In deep humility we pray O Lord for the strength to imitate Saint Justin in his constant efforts to make known the riches of the Faith to his fellowmen. Grant us the grace to be ever mindful of the many blessings we have received from You. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.
Patron Saint: St. Justin, Martyr
June 1 - Patron of Lecturers
Justin was born of Greek parents around 100 A.D. at Nablus ( ancient Shechem),
Palestine, in what is today known as the West Bank Israel area. He came from a
pagan family. As a youth, he was well educated and very interested in Greek
possessed an insatiable desire to learn the truth, wherever he could find it.
This lead him to study the works of his famous Greek ancestors - Socrates, Plato
and Aristotle. He also tells us that he held several conversations with some
elderly Christian person down by the lake side. There he learned of Jesus and
many of the Old Testament people of faith, especially Abraham.
reported that St. Justin had a deep admiration for the martyrs. He was
fascinated that they believed in a person and a cause so much that they were
willing to die rather than deny. At the age of thirty-three, after years of
studyihg the various systems of philosophy, he became converted to Christianity
by way of Platonism. Thereafter, his whole life was devoted to the propagation
and defense of the Faith in Asia Minor and at Rome.
retained the garb of a philosopher, he is the most important Christian Apologist
of the 2nd century and the first of whom we possess written works. These are the
two Apologies (to the Emperor Antoninus and the Roman Senate) setting forth the
moral values of Christianity, and the Dialogue demonstrating its truth to the
Jew Trypho. They are invaluable for the information they contain about the
Christian Faith and practice at that time.
in St. Justin a rare combination of faith and reason and, being a writer, he was
able to formulate his beliefs making use of both. He was a teacher and
philosopher by profession. He heard the good news proclaimed by the disciples of
our Lord and was eventually converted to the new faith at the age of 30. After
he became a Catholic, he devoted his philosophical talents to showing the basis
in reason for acceptance of the Christian faith.
the first School of Christian Philosophy at Rome shortly thereafter where he
drew the attention of the authorities because of his new teaching and faith in
the risen Lord. His reputation for Christian zeal grew because of his writing in
defense of the Catholic faith. He directed two "Apologies" to the
Emperor Antoninus and to the Roman Senate. An edict of the Emperor Antoninus
lessened the persecution of the Christians.
bearing witness to the Faith in Rome, he was denounced as a Christian, most
likely at the instigation of a Cynic philosopher whom he had outshone in a
public debate. Rather than deny and renounce his faith, the more he publicly and
openly professed his faith and fervor in teaching Christian Philosophy.
emperor however, imprisoned St. Justin and condemned him to death. While
teaching in a school in Rome, he was arrested and ordered to sacrifice to the
gods. Rather than deny and renounce his faith, the more he publicly and openly
professed his faith and fervor in teaching Christian Philosophy. He chose to be
beheaded when he replied: "No right-minded man forsakes truth for
falsehood." When asked if he was a Christian, he emphatically replied:
"Yes, I am a Christian." He was finally beheaded in defense of the
Faith and because of his teachings about the Lord. He died a martyr on April 13,
165 AD. The six others who were with him remained steadfast and they all
attained the palm of martyrdom.
Saint Justin's feast day is celebrated
throughout the whole of Christendom on the 1st of June.
Saint Justin serves as a model for us today, an example of an educated lay person, confident and strong in faith. He inspires us to use our power to know and understand in order to strengthen our inner spiritual life.
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Revised:March 27, 2002.