Saturday, September 18, 2021

Saint Justin, Martyr – Feast Day – June 1

Saint Justin was an early Christian philosopher who was born in the year 100 AD in Flavia Neapolis (Modern-day Nablus), Samaria and died as a martyr in Rome, in 165 AD at the age of 65 years. His feast day is celebrated on June 1 every year in the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church and Anglican Communion.

Saint Justin, Martyr Biography
Date of Birth 100 AD
Place of Birth Flavia Neapolis, Judea
Profession Philosopher and interpreter of the theory of the Logos in the 2nd century
Place of Work Palestine, Greece, Egypt, and Italy
Date of Death 165 AD (aged 65)
Place of Death Rome, Roman Empire
Feast Day June 1
Canonization Pre-Congregation
Patron Saint of
  • Speakers
  • Philosophers
  • Orators
  • Lecturers
  • Apologists

Saint Justin Life History

St Justin was born in the year around 100 AD at Flavia Neapolis (today Nablus), Samaria in the province of Judea. He was not circumcised and therefore identified himself as a Samaritan and a gentile. His grandfather was called Bacchius and his father was called Priscus.

St Justin sstated that he tried to go to several schools but he was unsatisfied because each philosopher had his own short-comings. He first went to the school of a Stoic philosopher. This Stoic philosopher was unable to explain to him who God was. He quit and attended another school of a Peripatetic philosopher but this philosopher was too greedy for his fee. He then went to another Pythagorean philosopher who demanded, against his wish, that he first learn geometry, music and astronomy. He quit too. Finally, adopted Platonism after metting with a new settler in the area who was a Platonist thinker.

While he was still embracing the Platonistic philosophy, he met an old man who was a Christian who convinced him that he could not come to know and understand God through human knowledge but he needed to be instructed by the Prophets who are inspired by the Holy Spirit and have come to know God and subsequently could make Him known.

From that moment St Justin renounced his former pagan philosophical stances and embraced the service of the Divine.

His new divine convictions were reinforced by the pious lives of the early Christians and the martyrs who heroically defended their faith in God. This ultimately convinced him that the Christian doctrine was the most morally and spiritually superior of all the other philosophies that existed.

From that moment he finally decided to travel throughout the land, spreading the knowledge that Christianity is the “true philosophy.”

It is assumed that this conversion took place at Ephesus. He thereafter travelled to Rome, founded a school and Tatian became one of his pupils.

St Justin had a dispute with philosopher Crescens who denounced him to the authorities in the reign of Marcus Aurelius. Around 165 AD, Justin was tried and beheaded by the urban prefect Junius Rusticus, together with six companions, Chariton, Evelpostos, Charito, Hierax, Pćon and Liberianos.

St Justin was a great philosopher and writer. The following writings are attributed to him;

  • The First Apology addressed to Antoninus Pius, his sons, and the Roman Senate
  • The Discourse to the Greeks, a discussion with Greek philosophers on the character of their gods;
  • The Second Apology of Justin Martyr addressed to the Roman Senate;
  • The Dialogue with Trypho.
  • A work entitled The Psalmist;
  • A treatise On the Sovereignty of God, in which he makes use of pagan authorities as well as Christian;
  • A treatise in scholastic form On the Soul

St Justin First Apology

St Justin argued that just by being a Christian did not warrant one to be punished or persecuted. He instead asked the Empire to only punish evil actions that could be attributed to the individual Christians. He said that it was true that there were Christians who did immoral acts but urged the officials to punish these individuals as evildoers but not as Christians.

He also addressed the claim that Christians were disloyal to the Empire by claiming to belong to another Kingdom. St Justin said that, that other kingdom is “of that with God” rather than a “human one.”

St Justin Second Apology

St Justin wrote the second apology in order to expose the reasons behind the persecutions of Christians under Urbicus. He also exposed the sheer irrationality of falsehood and innuendoes spread against the Christians.

A case in point was that of a woman who had converted to Christianity and shied away from practising immoral things with her husband. When things went from bad to worse, the woman sought to divorce her husband. The husband thought of retaliation and brought before the Emperor accusations against her. When he couldn’t do anything against her, the emperor turned against the Christian leaders who were thereafter severely persecuted by Urbicus the prefect.

St Justin Birth

Saint Justin was born in the year 100 AD in Flavia Neapolis (Modern-day Nablus), Samaria in the province of Judea.

St Justin Death

St Justin was tried and beheaded by the urban prefect Junius Rusticus and died as a martyr in Rome, in 165 AD at the age of 65 years.

Parents

St Justin’s father was called Priscus and his grandfather was called Bacchius.

St Justin Feast Day

The feast day for St Justin had previously been set on April 14 but because the Easter celebrations mostly fall around this date, in 1968, the feast was moved to June 1

Relics

It is claimed that St Justin’s relics are in the church of St. John the Baptist in Sacrofano, a few miles north of Rome. There is another claim that his remains are preserved in the Church of the Jesuits in Valletta, Malta.

It is also alleged that in 1989, with Vatican approval, the remains of St Justin’s were given a proper burial at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Annapolis, Maryland, USA.

St Justin is the Patron Saint of

St Justin is the patron saint of;

  • Speakers
  • Philosophers
  • Orators
  • Lecturers
  • Apologists

Veneration

St Justin is venerated in the following Churches;

  • Catholic Church
  • Anglican Communion
  • Eastern Orthodox Church
  • Lutheranism
  • Oriental Orthodoxy

Today’s Catholic Quote:

We have received the gift of faith with little labor of our own. Let us learn how to value it from those who reached it after long search, and lived in the misery of a world which did not know God. Let us fear, as St. Justin did, the account we shall have to render for the gift of God.

Saint Justin Martyr
Saint Justin Martyr

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