Early Church Father – Saint Justin

Justin opened a school of philosophy in Rome. He studied the works of Aristotle, Pythagoras, Plato, and the Stoics. Then Justin discovered Christ.  He didn’t think loving Christ should make him give up his scholarship.

Justin was born around the year 100.  His parents were wealthy pagans. He was from Palestine. Justin received a great education. He learned poetry, history, and philosophy, especially Plato.

One day he was walking alone trying to picture what God was really like.  He met a man who told him if he wanted to learn more about God, he should read the Hebrew prophets, who had lived before any of the philosophers. Those prophets prophecies had been fulfilled in their age in the person of Jesus Christ.

Justin became a Christian around the year 130.  He spend the rest of his life teaching and writing about Christian faith. At this time most Christians were ok being misrepresented to protect the sacred mysteries from being profaned.  Most people knew very little about the beliefs of Christianity. Justin believed more people would embrace Christianity if they only knew what Christians believed. He openly talked about the faith. He even wrote about what took place at Christian’s secret meetings. Justin never became a priest. He was a philosopher talking with people. He had debates with pagans, heretics, and Jews.  In Rome, he began a school and with a cynic named Crescens.  Justin made Crescens look ignorant.

Crescens then helped turn Justin over to the authorities. Justin had already sent letters to the Emperor and Roman Senate condemning them for persecuting Christians. He was brought to the local authorities in 165.  He boldly confessed his faith and was scourged and beheaded.

Justin is considered both a martyr and a Father of the Church. Saint Justin was the first to defend the faith against non-Christians and enemies of the Church.

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