(Died 165 AD)
Justin converted to Christianity about the year 130 and he received baptism at Ephesus.
Sometime after this Justin found himself in Rome, where he opened a philosophical school and tirelessly proclaimed Christ to pagan scholars. He wrote and spoke of the God he had come to know, using the language and categories of the philosophers. Above all, he used his intelligence and skill in defense of persecuted Christians, as we see in his Apologies.
Justin attacked the professional slanderers, but his public controversy with the philosopher Crescentius – a rabidly anti-Christian thinker backed by the politically powerful – was fatal. Justin was thrown in jail, ironically, as an “atheist,” that is, as a subversive and an enemy of the State. He and six companions were beheaded around the year 165, under the Emperor Marcus Aurelius.
The fame of the missionary-philosopher, to whom we owe the oldest extant description of the Eucharistic liturgy, traversed the centuries. Even Vatican II recalled his teaching in two pillars of the Council: the documents Lumen gentium and Gaudium et Spes.
For Justin, Christianity is the historical and personal manifestation of the Logos in his totality. For this reason, Justin says, “Everything beautiful, no matter who said it, belongs to us Christians.”
Adapted by A.J. Valentini from: St. Justin, Philosopher and Martyr – Information on the Saint of the Day – Vatican News. (n.d.). Vatican News. Retrieved May 25, 2021, from https://www.vaticannews.va/en/saints/06/01/st–justin–philosopher-and-martyr.html