Justin Martyr — June 1
Saint Justin Martyr, also known as "the Philosopher," was born in Neapolis of Palestine in the year 103. As the title "Philosopher" would suggest, he was first a follower of Plato before he came to know Christ. In fact, his discovery of our Lord came when he was already a mature man. He had been seeking to find God through philosophy and human reasoning, when he encountered an elder who spoke to him about the Prophets and how they taught of God not through their own wisdom — but by divine revelation. The elder ultimately led him to knowledge of Christ, Who is the fulfillment of what the Prophets taught. Saint Justin soon became a dedicated follower of Christ and a tremendous defender of the Christian Faith. Up until his martyrdom in the year 167, he used his brilliant mind and knowledge of philosophical methods to lead others to Christ, just as he had been led, and many of his writings survive for us to seek inspiration within today. One of the most interesting parts of his ministry, writings and outlook was his openness to the world — he once said, "All truth wherever it is found belongs to us Christians." For sure, we can see goodness in many different places, and when we do, we can be sure that God is at work and that there is something present which is safe to embrace.
Getting Practical: Saint Justin's journey toward Christ reminds us that the development of strong faith takes time. It's not always a quick, obvious or easy road. Even for those of us who were brought up in the Church and have known Christ all our lives, strong faith is not a given. Sometimes we stray away and let our relationship with Christ get off track — but if we are committed to truth and seeking what is holy, we will always be led back to Him. And He will always be there waiting for us with open arms. Some parts of this journey back to Christ include worshipping at Church, receiving Holy Communion and Holy Confession. This summer, making these wonderful things a priority can help our children, and all of us, make our way to Him. Let's do this together!