Friday, December 18, 2009

St. Justin the Philosopher


St. Justin the Philosopher, also known as Justin Martyr, was born in about AD 100 in modern-day Palestine. He described himself as a Samaritan because of his mother's ancestry, but his father was either Greek or Roman and, as a result, he was raised as a pagan.

During his early years, Justin explored the many Greek and Roman pagan philosophies current in his day. Eventually, though, he converted to Christianity, convinced that he had found the True Philosophy. He would continue until his death to wear the robe traditionally worn by philosophers in Roman culture.

He later moved to Rome, teaching Christianity there and penning several powerful apologetic works, addressing both Jews and pagans.

After winning a debate against a pagan philosopher, he was exposed by his opponent as a Christian to the Roman authorities, by whom he was tortured and martyred along with several of his students in AD 165.

The Church celebrates the feast day of the Holy Martyr Justin the Philosopher and those martyred with him on June 1.

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