Monday, June 1, 2009

St. Justin the Philosopher and Martyr, and those with him

Icon of St. Justin the Philosopher and Martyr - Commemorated on June 1st along with his fellow martyrs (Sts. Chariton, Charita the Virgin, Euelpistos, Hierax, Paion, Liverianos, and according to others, Vallerian ( (icon taken from:
This Saint, who was from Neapolis of Palestine, was a follower of Plato the philosopher. Born in 103, he came to the Faith of Christ when he was already a mature man, seeking to find God through philosophy and human reasoning. A venerable elder appeared to him and spoke to him about the Prophets who had taught of God not through their own wisdom, but by revelation; and he led him to knowledge of Christ, Who is the fulfillment of what the Prophets taught. Saint Justin soon became a fervent follower of Christ, and an illustrious apologist of the Evangelical teachings. To the end of his life, while preaching Christ in all parts, he never put off his philosopher's garb. In Rome, he gave the Emperor Antoninus Pius (reigned 138-161) an apology wherein he proved the innocence and holiness of the Christian Faith, persuading him to relieve the persecution of Christians. Through the machinations of Crescens, a Cynic philosopher who envied him, Saint Justin was beheaded in Rome in 167 under Antoninus' successor, Marcus Aurelius (reigned 161-180). Besides his defense of Christianity (First and Second Apologies), Saint Justin wrote against paganism (Discourse to the Greeks, Hortatory Address to the Greeks), and refuted Jewish objections against Christ (Dialogue with Trypho)." (taken from:
St. Justin the Martyr and Philosopher (Source:

CHAP. I.--EXAMINATION OF JUSTIN BY THE PREFECT.IN the time of the lawless partisans of idolatry, wicked decrees were passed against the godly Christians in town and country, to force them to offer libations to vain idols; and accordingly the holy men, having been apprehended, were brought before the prefect of Rome, Rusticus by name.
And when they had been brought before his judgment-seat, Rusticus the prefect said to Justin, "Obey the gods at once, and submit to the kings."
Justin said, "To obey the commandments of our Saviour Jesus Christ is worthy neither of blame nor of condemnation."
Rusticus the prefect said, "What kind of doctrines do you profess?"
Justin said, "I have endeavoured to learn all doctrines; but I have acquiesced at last in the true doctrines, those namely of the Christians, even though they do not please those who hold false opinions."
Rusticus the prefect said, "Are those the doctrines that please you, you utterly wretched man?"
Justin said, "Yes, since I adhere to them with right dogma."
Rusticus the prefect said, "What is the dogma?"
Justin said, "That according to which we worship the God of the Christians, whom we reckon to be one from the beginning, the maker and fashioner of the whole creation, visible and invisible; and the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who had also been preached beforehand by the prophets as about to be present with the race of men, the herald of salvation and teacher of good disciples. And I, being a man, think that what I can say is insignificant in comparison with His boundless divinity, acknowledging a Certain prophetic power, since it was prophesied concerning Him of whom now I say that He is the Son of God. For I know that of old the prophets foretold His appearance among men."

Rusticus the prefect said, "Where do you assemble?"
Justin said, "Where each one chooses and can: for do you fancy that we all meet in the very same place? Not so; because the God of the Christians is not circumscribed by place; but being invisible, fills heaven and earth, and everywhere is worshipped and glorified by the faithful."
Rusticus the prefect said, "Tell me where you assemble, or into what place do you collect your followers?"
Justin said, "I live above one Martinus, at the Timiotinian Bath; and during the whole time (and I am now living in Rome for the second time) I am unaware of any other meeting than his. And if any one wished to come to me, I communicated to him the doctrines of truth."
Rusticus said, "Are you not, then, a Christian?"
Justin said, "Yes, I am a Christian."

Then said the prefect Rusticus to Chariton, "Tell me further, Chariton, are you also a Christian?" Chariton said, "I am a Christian by the command of God."
Rusticus the prefect asked the woman Charito, "What say you, Charito?"
Charito said, "I am a Christian by the grace of God."
Rusticus said to Euelpistus, "And what are you?"
Euelpistus, a servant of Caesar, answered, "I too am a Christian, having been freed by Christ; and by the grace of Christ I partake of the same hope."
Rusticus the prefect said to Hierax, "And you, are you a Christian?"
Hierax said, "Yes, I am a Christian, for I revere and worship the same God."
Rusticus the prefect said, "Did Justin make you Christians?"
Hierax said, "I was a Christian, and will be a Christian."
And Paeon stood up and said, "I too am a Christian."
Rusticus the prefect said, "Who taught you?"
Paeon said, "From our parents we received this good confession."
Euelpistus said, "I willingly heard the words of Justin. But from my parents also I learned to be a Christian."
Rusticus the prefect said, "Where are your parents?"
Euelpistus said, "In Cappadocia."
Rusticus says to Hierax, "Where are your parents?"
And he answered, and said, "Christ is our true father, and faith in Him is our mother; and my earthly parents died; and I, when I was driven from Iconium in Phrygia, came here."
Rusticus the prefect said to Liberianus, "And what say you? Are you a Christian, and unwilling to worship [the gods]?"
Liberianus said, "I too am a Christian, for I worship and reverence the only true God."

The prefect says to Justin, "Hearken, you who are called learned, and think that you know true doctrines; if you are scourged and beheaded, do you believe you will ascend into heaven?"
Justin said, "I hope that, if I endure these things, I shall have His gifts. For I know that, to all who have thus lived, there abides the divine favour until the completion of the whole world."
Rusticus the prefect said, "Do you suppose, then, that you will ascend into heaven to receive some recompense?"
Justin said, "I do not suppose it, but I know and am fully persuaded of it."
Rusticus the prefect said, "Let us, then, now come to the matter in hand, and which presses. Having come together, offer sacrifice with one accord to the gods."
Justin said, "No right-thinking person falls away from piety to impiety."
Rusticus the prefect said, "Unless ye obey, ye shall be mercilessly punished."
Justin said, "Through prayer we can be saved on account of our Lord Jesus Christ, even when we have been punished, because this shall become to us salvation and confidence at the more fearful and universal judgment-seat of our Lord and Saviour."
Thus also said the other martyrs: "Do what you will, for we are Christians, and do not sacrifice to idols."

Rusticus the prefect pronounced sentence, saying, "Let those who have refused to sacrifice to the gods and to yield to the command of the emperor be scourged, and led away to suffer the punishment of decapitation, according to the laws."
The holy martyrs having glorified God, and having gone forth to the accustomed place, were beheaded, and perfected their testimony in the confession of the Saviour. And some of the faithful having secretly removed their bodies, laid them in a suitable place, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ having wrought along with them, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen." (taken from:; For St. Justin's philosophical expositions and defenses of Christianity, see:
St. Justin the Philosopher and Martyr (taken from:

Apolytikion of St. Justin the Martyr in the Plagal of the First Tone
Thou didst empty the cup of the wisdom of the Greeks, and thou didst thirst yet again, till thou camest unto the well where thou foundest water springing to eternal life. And having drunk deeply thereof, thou didst also drink the cup that Christ gave to His disciples. Wherefore, O Justin, we praise thee as a philosopher and Martyr of Christ.

Kontakion in the Third Tone
As the breath of Paradise, the dew descending from Aermon, Christ the Power and the Peace and Wisdom of God the Father, came upon thy thirsting spirit, O Martyr Justin, making thee a spring of knowledge for all the faithful, when thou barest with true valour death as a martyr, to live for ever in Christ.
St. Judtin the Philosopher and Martyr (
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

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