St. Justin, the Philosopher

Born in Shechem [Neapolis, Sychem] (now Nablus in Samaria), of pagan parents, gifted with rich talents and love for science, St. Justin studied pagan philosophy to completion. It was not in any way true for him. It was the elder, saint John the Apostles, who revealed be the teaching of Christ which Justin found true. 

Having thus accepted the Christian faith (at 30 years of age) and being baptized (between 133 – 137), he devoted everything to the glory of Christ: that he had the best of both talent and knowledge, was a fervent preacher of Christianity and opened a Christian school in Rome. 

“Adorned with wisdom of God”, a zealous teacher of the Church, a guardian of its external security on the part of pagans and apologist of Christianity, “the wise Justin” wrote “apologies” to the pagan emperors: Antoninus (in 150) and Marcus Aurelius (about 160). He wrote the “Dialogue with Trypho the Jew”. In 166, after prolonged and severe torture, the holy defender of Christians was condemned to death. The relics of St. Justin are in a Capuchin monastery in Rome.
Adapted from the Bulgakov Menaion

Saint Justin is surnamed “the Philosopher” because this was truly his vocation. In his icons he is adorned in the garment of the Philosopher. This was his uniform so that others would know and recognize that he dedicated his life to the pursuit of knowledge. To the Orthodox however, Saint Justin can be rightly called the PhiloLogist, meaning the lover of the Logos, for in his manner of life and words he demonstrated his love for the Holy Trinity.

Saint Justin is remarkable for so many reasons: he was a disciple of the Apostle John; he provides an incredible and important glims into the really Church; and he was a fervent defender of THE faith. Note, counter to today’s understanding, an apologist is one who defends.

O holy Justin, thou lover of wisdom, through thy labors and prayers thou becamest a true friend of wisdom for didst love the holy Sophia – the Wisdom and Word of God.

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