Friday 22nd March 2019

Home » saints » Currently Reading:

Catholic Heroes… St. Justin Martyr

May 31, 2018 saints No Comments

By CAROLE BRESLIN

Catholicism is universal. Its teachings and doctrines are ever old and ever new, as is the need to evangelize, applicable to all times and to all people. Redemptoris Missio, issued by Pope St. John Paul II in 1990 on the missionary nature of the Church, names three types of evangelization and how to be an effective evangelist. This document — well worth the time it takes to read it — names three types of evangelization: 1) to the nations, 2) to serving Christian communities, and 3) to fallen-away Christians. (The New Evangelization refers mainly to the third form of evangelization, to fallen-away Christians.)
Since the first Pentecost, the Church has been reaching out to bring people closer to Christ, with the writings of the Church fathers providing excellent material to assist in this all-important mission. St. Justin Martyr wrote significant apologies on Christian topics such as explaining Psalms, addressing Greek philosophers, and expounding on the soul and the sovereignty of God.
Three important ones have been preserved: his First Apology, the Dialogue With Trypho, and his Second Apology. The Dialogue With Trypho describes Justin’s journey to Christianity.
He was born of pagan parents around the year 100 in Flavia Neapolis, Samaria. His early education was Grecian, including the philosophers, which he believed was sadly lacking in substance, dealing with only the superficial and material aspects of life. As a young man he longed to grasp life’s metaphysical foundation, so he felt unfulfilled and empty.
Hoping, but failing, to find more depth to life, he continued his education, studying such great Greek thinkers as Pythagoras, the Stoics, and the Peripatetics. When he discovered the teachings of Plato he believed — stupidly, as he confessed — that he had finally found God. “The perception of immaterial things quite overpowered me, and the contemplation of ideas furnished my mind with wings.”
But this experience led him in the right direction.
Justin was moved by the moral beauty of the Christians’ charity and chastity, as well as by the witness of their martyrdom. As Justin wrote, “I said to myself that it was impossible that they should be living in evil and in the love of pleasure.”
His conversion happened around the year 130, most likely in Ephesus.
He met an elder Jew, Trypho, to whom he demonstrated the truth of Christianity. Justin wrote 142 chapters — enjoyable reading material — in the form of two characters in conversation. It is an excellent give and take between Trypho and Justin.
Among the variety of subjects covered in this second-century document are how the soul cannot see God, things unknown to the Greek philosophers, the love of Christ, the ancient Scriptures and prophecies such as, “Behold the Virgin shall conceive and bear a son” (chapter 84). In addition, he discussed the symbolism of Moses stretching out his arms to defeat the Amalekites and how his arms had to be supported as the battle lasted into the night.
Interestingly, he described the sacraments, the Gospels, and the letters of both Paul and Peter, as well as the Acts of the Apostles. Thus we know that it was not over hundreds of years that the practices and writings were developed, but that they were already widely dispersed and used.
With apostolic zeal, Justin traveled around the Roman Empire preaching and leading others to Christ. His history of studying the philosophers qualified him to open a school in Rome in which he led others to Christianity. One of his students was Tatian, who composed a text explaining the harmony of the four Gospels that became the standard text for the Syriac-speaking churches for hundreds of years.
The First Apology of St. Justin written around 150 addressed the atheistic Emperors Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius, concerning their antagonism against the Christians. He insisted that the Christians were unjustly hated and wantonly persecuted, himself included.
The sixty-eight chapters describe the harmony of Christianity with reason, how the teachings help man understand the world, their time, creation, freedom, the human soul’s affinity with the divine spirit, and the recognition of good and evil.
He stressed that Christians are not enemies of the state and that all men are called to salvation. In addition, the fulfillment of ancient prophecies, the Eucharist, administration of the sacraments, the shortcomings of heathen mythology, Christ’s Incarnation, Passion, death, Resurrection, and Ascension into Heaven, and the actions of the Devil are presented.
When the Christian persecutions continued, Justin wrote another apology. This Second Apology is the shortest of his preserved writings, being only 15 chapters. He addressed the citizens under Urbicus sometime between 150 and 157. He described how the attacks fostered by Urbicus were irrational. Justin bemoaned the immoral practices of the pagan citizens who have been influenced by the Devil and warned them of eternal punishment.
He continued describing once again the rationality of believing in Christ, His teachings, the nature of Truth, and how the Greek and Roman philosophers ultimately were leading mankind to follow Christ. He also wrote that even the pagan philosophers understood the existence of the divine, consequently in preparation for accepting Christ as the Son of God.
Thus Justin fearlessly spread the Truth and readily debated with any orator challenging the teachings of Christ. One such man, a cynic named Crescens, having failed to best Justin in a debate, denounced him to the authorities during the barbaric reign of Marcus Aurelius.
As Tatian and Eusebius wrote, Justin was tried with six of his companions and students by the urban prefect, Junius Rusticus, and was beheaded sometime between 162 and 168. The account describes the repeated refusal of Justin and his companions to sacrifice to false gods. They proclaimed the one true God, and their firm resolve to remain faithful before “the universal tribunal of Our Lord and Savior” than sacrifice to idols.
Both the Church of St. John the Baptist in Sacrofano, Rome and the Church of the Jesuits in Valletta, Malta claim to have the relics of Justin.
In 1882 Pope Leo XIII sponsored both a Mass and Divine Office to be composed for the Feast of Justin that was then celebrated on April 14. Since this date frequently fell within the Paschal celebrations, it was moved to June 1.
As Pope St. John Paul II wrote his encyclical on evangelization, Redemptoris Missio, in 1990 and Pope Benedict XVI established the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization in 2010, Catholics would do well to read the works of St. Justin and ponder their significance in relation to the call to evangelize.
Dear St. Justin, your zeal and fortitude are great examples of the Holy Spirit working through you. Obtain for us, we pray, these graces that we, too, may carry on the mission entrusted to the Church by Christ. Amen.

+ + +

(Carole Breslin home-schooled her four daughters and served as treasurer of the Michigan Catholic Home Educators for eight years. For over ten years, she was national coordinator for the Marian Catechists, founded by Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ.)

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

Load More...

Nancy Pelosi: ‘I Myself, as a Catholic, Believe…’

(CNSNews.com) – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) said at her press briefing on Thursday that she wants to “salute” the Green New Deal and went on to explain that “as a Catholic” she believes—“as do many of our Evangelical friends”—that…Continue Reading

Pope Francis warns against gossip, forgetting one’s own sinfulness

Rome, Italy, Mar 3, 2019 / 01:30 pm (CNA).- In a visit to a Roman parish on Sunday, Pope Francis encouraged Catholics to stop gossiping and ruminating on the shortcomings of other people, and to instead focus on repenting of…Continue Reading

Catholic network Salt + Light stands by CEO Fr. Rosica despite plagiarism

TORONTO, March 2, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Salt + Light Catholic Media Foundation is standing by Father Thomas Rosica, the network’s CEO, despite revelations of his extensive plagiarism going back almost 30 years. Meanwhile, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops says…Continue Reading

Measure to protect babies who survive abortion fails in Senate 53-44

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The Senate in an evening vote Feb. 25 failed to pass a measure sponsored by Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Nebraska, to require that babies born alive after an abortion be given medical attention and “the same protection of…Continue Reading

Prosecutors drop second trial against Cardinal George Pell

Melbourne, Australia, Feb 25, 2019 / 06:21 pm (CNA).- Prosecutors have abandoned a planned second trial against Australian Cardinal George Pell, who was convicted in December 2018 on five charges of the sexual abuse of minors. Pell is reported to…Continue Reading

Rosica resigns from college board after plagiarism apology; Jesuits withdraw award

Washington D.C., Feb 25, 2019 / 02:47 pm (CNA).- A Canadian priest who apologized last week for plagiarism has resigned from the governing board of a Catholic college affiliated with the University of Toronto. “As a sign of contrition and…Continue Reading

Abuse Survivor: Pope’s Devil Comments ‘Outrageous’

Pope Francis’ latest slam on church critics as cohorts of Satan stunned survivors of priest sex abuse and their advocates, who called the pontiff’s remarks “outrageous” on the eve of his clergy summit on the long-running scandal. “It’s outrageous ……Continue Reading

Pope picks liberal cardinals Cupich, Marx, Tagle for featured talks at Vatican Abuse Summit

ROME, February 18, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago, Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Germany, and Cardinal Antonio Tagle of the Philippines will be featured speakers at the Vatican’s upcoming summit on clerical sex abuse titled, “The Protection of Minors…Continue Reading

SD BISHOP CALLS CATHOLIC GROUP ‘EVIL’ FOR OPPOSING CARDINAL CUPICH

RAPID CITY, S.D. (ChurchMilitant.com) – A bishop is calling a Catholic apostolate “evil” for being critical of Cdl. Blase Cupich. Bishop Robert Gruss of Rapid City, South Dakota issued a statement to be read from all parish pulpits the weekend of Feb. 9–10 condemning…Continue Reading

The Christian Faith: The only valid and the only God-willed religion

The Truth of the filial adoption in Christ, which is intrinsically supernatural, constitutes the synthesis of the entire Divine Revelation. Being adopted by God as sons is always a gratuitous gift of grace, the most sublime gift of God to…Continue Reading

Roberts joins Supreme Court’s liberal wing in blocking Louisiana abortion law

Chief Justice John Roberts joined the Supreme Court’s liberal wing on Thursday in temporarily blocking a Louisiana law that would have placed restrictions on abortion clinics, in the high court’s first major ruling on abortion since the confirmation of Associate Justice…Continue Reading

Supermodel Takes On Catholic Poland With Sex Education Campaign

Supermodel Anja Rubik could be a symbol of any modern, progressive European country. After joining a campaign to defend women’s rights, she started tackling school sex education and published a book for teenagers that sought to counter the teachings of…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love

Cburke3

  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading

Catechism

Today . . .

On the question of a heretical pope

schneider

The issue of how to handle a heretical pope, in concrete terms, has not yet been treated in a manner which approaches anything like a true general consent in the entire Catholic tradition. So far, neither a pope nor an Ecumenical Council has made relevant doctrinal pronouncements nor have they issued binding canonical norms regarding the eventuality of how to handle a heretical pope during the term of his office. There is no historical case of…Continue Reading

GOP congressman sues Twitter for shadow-bans, discrimination against conservatives

March 20, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – California Republican Rep. Devin Nunes is taking Twitter to court for the social media giant’s alleged discrimination against himself and other prominent conservatives through shadow-banning and other means. Last summer, Nunes was one of several Republican lawmakers and GOP leaders whose Twitter accounts had disappeared from the drop-down menu that normally populates when typing in a name, without comparable figures such as Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez or any…Continue Reading

US bishops’ anti-poverty charity gave $60,000 to pro-gay Marxist group last year

March 15, 2019 (Lepanto Institute) — The 2017–2018 Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) grants list shows that the Northwest Bronx Community & Clergy Coalition (NWBCCC) received $60,000, bringing the total this organization has received to $290,000 since 2005. In 2012, the Reform CCHD Now coalition alerted the US bishops to serious problems with NWBCCC including homosexual activism and the promotion of Marxism. Monsignor Kevin Sullivan of the A

Cardinal DiNardo hospitalized after ‘mild stroke’

Houston, Texas, Mar 16, 2019 / 06:33 pm (CNA).- The president of the U.S. bishops’ conference was hospitalized March 15 after suffering a mild stroke, according to a statement from the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, which has been led by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo since 2006. “It is expected that Cardinal DiNardo will remain hospitalized for a few more days of testing and observation, followed by a transfer to another facili

Democrats Demand Right to Life for Kittens, But Block Bills to Stop Infanticide

What do cats have that newborn babies don’t? Democrats’ support. In one of the sickest ironies no one is talking about, Senate liberals picked this moment — 17 days after they voted to kill America’s perfectly healthy infants — to fight for the humane treatment of kittens. Maybe the DNC’s strategists are out to lunch, or maybe the Left really is this shameless, but I can’t wait to see so

Advertisement(2)

Medical Ethics: “Who’s Next?”

By BARBARA SIMPSON (Editor’s Note: This column first appeared on WorldNetDaily, March 1, 2019.) + + + It’s really getting out of control. The headlines and news reports are filled with life and death. Not war. Not accidents. No, these news stories are about how and when our medical system can, and will, legally kill…Continue Reading

A Dark Night Finally Turns To Day

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor in chief of CNSnews.com. Creators Syndicate distributes his column.) + + + They could have just kept going, but they didn’t. It was another cold South Dakota day on February 28, 1981, when Lee Litz went out with a friend to test-drive a…Continue Reading

My Reply… An Eastern Orthodox Writer’s Attempt To Justify Divorce And Remarriage

By JAMES LIKOUDIS An Eastern Orthodox correspondent has taken issue with Catholic teaching rejecting adultery as a legitimate ground for divorce and remarriage. His arguments stem from ill-digested readings drawn from both Catholic and Eastern Orthodox sources. The writer, in effect, rejects Catholic doctrine regarding the absolute indissolubility of sacramental marriage. That doctrine, based on…Continue Reading

How Middle America Is To Be Dispossessed

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN In all but one of the last seven presidential elections, Republicans lost the popular vote. George W. Bush and Donald Trump won only by capturing narrow majorities in the Electoral College. Hence the grand strategy of the left: to enlarge and alter the U.S. electorate so as to put victory as…Continue Reading

Love And The Virtue Of Love

By JUDE DOUGHERTY At some time in the last century, perhaps due to the influence of John Dewey and other influential academics in this country, the concept “the values we hold dear” came to replace the notion that we may be accountable to a moral order quite independent of ourselves. Politicians, educators, and journalists commonly…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Empty Chalice At Consecration Time… Could Signal A Grave Violation Of Canon Law

By Fr. Edward McNamara, LC (Editor’s Note: Following is a Q-and-A from Fr. Edward McNamara’s regular column published by ZENIT News Agency. The date of this column is March 12, 2019. (ZENIT holds the copyright to this article. All rights reserved.) + + + (Legionary of Christ Fr. Edward McNamara is a professor of liturgy and dean of theology at…Continue Reading

Heaven, The Promised Land

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Third Sunday Of Lent (YR C) Readings: Exodus 3:1-8a, 13-15 1 Cor. 10:1-6, 10-12 Luke 13:1-9 In the readings today we hear about both the justice and the mercy of God. The first reading is all about God’s mercy. The people of Israel had been enslaved in Egypt for 430 years, but in that time they…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World . . . Cardinal Pell: The Pendulum Swings

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The pendulum means nothing on its own and functions only by means of a power external to itself: the law of gravity. The swing of the pendulum is a symbol of the lack of balance, for the forces at work upon it which keep it in constant motion prevent its rest in a central position…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: In his weekly bulletin at the Church of St. Michael in New York City, Fr. George Rutler, after noting that John Henry Cardinal Newman of England will soon be proclaimed a saint and Jozsef Cardinal Mindszenty of Hungary will be declared venerable, said that “Mindszenty was not Newman’s intellectual peer, but his life was the most muscular testimony…Continue Reading

The Church In The Midst Of The Storm . . . “Come To Me All Who Are Weary”

By FR. SHENAN J. BOQUET (Editor’s Note: This article is reprinted with permission of Human Life International, www.hli.org. It first appeared at www.hli.org on March 4, 2019. Fr. Boquet is the president of HLI.) + + + “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God still, and trust in me” (John 14:1). Holy Mother Church is in the…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Benedetta Cambiagio Frassinello

By CAROLE BRESLIN Mary and Joseph led a chaste life, as husband and wife for the greater glory of God. The parents of Therese of Lisieux, Marie-Azélie Guérin and Louis Martin, also hoped to live this way, but their spiritual director advised them not to do so. In obedience, they provided the Church with a wonderful example of holiness. Another…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Cuthbert

By CAROLE BRESLIN The Melrose Abbey in Scotland, which is located about 30 miles south-southeast of Edinburgh, attracts more visitors than just about any other attraction in Scotland. Although mostly in ruins now, the abbey boasts a museum and other sites of interest, such as the embalmed heart of Robert the Bruce. Mel Gibson revived interest in him with the…Continue Reading