Tuesday, June 1, 2010

St Justin Martyr celebrated 1st June

St Justin Martyr in his Philosopher's robe

Justin came from a Greek-speaking non-Jewish family living in Flavia Neapolis  in Samaria. He wrote of how he searched for truth, attaching himself to a succession of philosophical schools: Stoicism, Aristotelianism, Pythagorianism and Platonism. Finally (~130 AD) he met an old man while walking on the seashore at Ephesus who pointed out some of the weaknesses in his Platonic system. He showed Justin how the Old Testament predicted the coming of Christ; but it was seeing the courage of the Christian martyrs that finally convinced him. Still wearing his philosopher's cloak he dedicated the rest of his life to defending Christianity against its philosophical opponents.

During the reign of Antoninus Pius (138-161 AD) Justin ministered in Rome, founding a school that attracted a wide variety of students, including Tatian from Nisibis in Assyria, Irenaeus from Smyrna and Theophilus from near the Euphrates. There he vigorously opposed the Cynic philosopher Crescens, the Gnostic Valentinians, the Marcionites and the Jews. Justin earned his surname when he perished during the persecution of Christians by Marcus Aurelius (121-180AD) in about 165 AD.

For him Christianity was theoretically the true philosophy and practically a new law of holy living and dying.

Thou didst empty the cup of the wisdom of the Greeks, and thou didst thirst yet again, till thou camest unto the well where thou foundest water springing to eternal life. And having drunk deeply thereof, thou didst also drink the cup that Christ gave to His disciples. Wherefore, O Justin, we praise thee as a philosopher and Martyr of Christ.

1 comment:

Cranberry said...

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