Today, the first day of June, we commemorate the feast of St. Justin Martyr.
Hands down, St. Justin is one of the most significant personages of the Greek apologists, if not the most important. His sojourn toward the Truth led him to Stoicism, Peripateticism, Pythagoreanism and even Platonism. However, none of these would quench for the Truth. As he walked along the shore, he met a man who convinced him that nothing could satisfy him save ‘for the prophets who alone announced the truth.’
Here, we see how he donned the hat of a philosopher only to become a lofty theologian in the future.
The courageous example of Christians who showed no fear facing imminent death. After his conversion, he devoted his life living in Ephesus defending the Christian faith.
Justin had the knack for writing, and so, he also occupies an important niche in the early Christian literature. He used this giftedness in order to defend and spread the truth of the Christian faith. His most important writings being his two Apologies. In his writings we can also glean dogmatic doctrines about the faith. He embraced the fact that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Founder of the Christian religion revealed to us by divine prophecies. He also described thru his letters the description of the sacrament of baptism, Eucharistic service and the social life of the Christians.
The life of Justin leads us to appreciate the role of grace in one’s venture to defend the faith. It is not a mere human venture, but primarily and ultimately, God’s work. We could gather from his life the openness to cooperate towards the search for truth. But this search is something that can only be ignited by someone who is divine.
His thirst for the Truth made him passionate to lead others to it once he found it. And this is one great miracle we contend with when dealing with the issue of the God questions. The post-modernity makes us confront various neo forms of atheism which may put us in trouble once we neglect communing with the divine. The example of Justin in not only offering his time and talent all for the service of God makes us also appreciate the fact the he did not merely stop there. For beyond it, he showed a great readiness to surrender his life all for the service of the God who has loved him first.