Memorial of Saint Justin Martyr

St Justin is a great saint for our times. He began his life as a pagan, and somewhere along the line became interested in philosophy. To be a philosopher in the 1st century was to be someone seeking a deeper interior life, seeking to discover the truth of the cosmos and find one’s place in it. Justin went from teacher to teacher, always unsatisfied. His heart was burning with a desire for a truth he could not name.

According to his own telling, his conversion to Christianity hinged upon a long walk on the seashore with a mysterious old man. The man explained to him that the highest truth about God could not be found in human philosophy. This truth could only be found in the prophets who were inspired by the Holy Spirit. They alone could speak the truth about God, since they brought the truth from God Himself. After hearing this, Justin discovered that the truth he sought could indeed be found -in Christ.

Justin died a martyr, confessing to his last breath the true God was revealed through Jesus Christ. Among his last words were, in response to the command to sacrifice to the Emperor: “No one in his right mind gives up piety for impiety.” What a simple and strong faith! Let us seek God with the same fervor and devotion – always remembering that we must heed Scripture and Tradition to find the truth about life that we so deeply desire.

June 1st, 2013