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Saint of the Day for 1 June: St. Justin

St. Justin: Life, Apologetics and Martyrdom of the Christian Philosopher


St. Justin




2nd century, Sichem


2nd century, Rome


1 June


2004 edition


O God, who endowed the holy martyr Justin with an admirable knowledge of the mystery of Christ through the sublime folly of the Cross, through his intercession remove from us the darkness of error, confirm us in the profession of the true faith and cause us to live in perpetual thanksgiving for your innumerable benefits. Amen.

Patron of

St. Justin, Valentano, Ponzone, Rocca Sinibalda



Roman Martyrology

Memory of St. Justin, martyr, who, a philosopher, righteously followed the true Wisdom known in the truth of Christ: he professed it by his conduct of life and what he professed he made the object of his teaching, defended it in his writings, and testified to it by his death that occurred in Rome under the emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. In fact, after presenting to the emperor his Apologia in defense of the Christian religion, he was handed over to the prefect Rusticus and, having declared himself a Christian, was sentenced to death.


The Saint and Mission

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St. Justin, who lived in the second century, is one of the most important figures in the early Church for his role as a Christian apologist and philosopher. His mission was to defend and explain the Christian faith at a time when it was often misunderstood and persecuted. With a philosophical background that encompassed the major schools of thought of the time, Justin found in Christianity the ultimate truth he sought, a truth he decided to devote his life to popularizing. Using his philosophical background, Justin wrote numerous works, including the famous “Apologies” and the “Dialogue with Tryphon.” In these writings, he argued with intellectual rigor and passion, seeking to demonstrate the reasonableness of the Christian faith to the pagans and to answer the accusations made against Christians. His ability to engage in dialogue with Greco-Roman culture, explaining Christianity in terms understandable to his contemporaries, was crucial to the spread of the faith. Justin not only defended Christianity through writing, but also lived his mission with courage, facing persecution with serenity and determination. His life culminated in martyrdom, a sacrifice that sealed his witness of faith and his commitment to proclaiming the truth of Christ. St. Justin leaves us an example of how faith and reason can work together for the defense and spread of the Gospel, inspiring generations of Christians to live and witness their faith with intelligence and courage.

The Saint and Mercy

St. Justin is an eloquent example of how mercy can manifest itself through the defense of truth and care for the souls of others. In his work as an apologist, Justin sought not only to defend Christianity, but to invite his contemporaries to discover the depth of divine mercy present in Christ’s message. Through his writings, Justin showed a deep compassion for those who did not know the truth, striving to enlighten them with rational arguments and spiritual appeals. His life testifies to an intellectual mercy, aimed at clarifying misunderstandings and responding to accusations with calmness and respect. St. Justin did not merely refute errors, but sought to bring out the beauty and goodness of the Christian faith, showing how it answered humanity’s deepest questions. His ability to dialogue with the philosophical cultures of the time reflects a merciful approach that seeks to build bridges rather than erect barriers. Even his martyrdom is a supreme act of mercy, offering his life as a witness to the truth he had discovered. This ultimate sacrifice is a demonstration of his unconditional love for God and neighbor, a love that knows no limits and is expressed in his willingness to give everything for the salvation of souls. St. Justin reminds us that true mercy is manifested in a desire to share the truth and a commitment to live and defend the faith with integrity and love.


Justin was born in Shechem, Samaria, in the second century AD, but was probably of Roman origin. A quiet young man, he had sought through the study of philosophy the truth and with it happiness, but without attaining it. He then withdrew to the desert, where he met a wise old man to whom he confided his torments. “Read the prophets, read the Gospel,” the old man suggested to him, “and you will find what you seek. Justin read them and God’s grace enlightened his mind and warmed his heart. Justin did not deny philosophy for this, indeed he drew from it reasons to demonstrate the reasonableness of Christianity: he did so by writing a celebrated Apologia and…


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