Today the church remembers Justin, Martyr at Rome, c. 167.An apologist is one who attempts to make clear the grounds for his belief or course of action, one who attempts to explain to others the truth and validity of what he stands for. Justin was an apologist for the early church. He was born in Samaria, but was a Gentile and a pagan. As a young man he engaged in a long struggle for truth and meaning. He was for a time a Stoic, later a Pythagorean, and then a Platonist. Finally, in the ancient melting pot of Ephesus, he embraced Christianity, which he continued to regard as the most sublime revelation of truth to his very death. Eventually Justin went to Rome and there, for some fifteen years, he operated a Christian school. He was not exceptionally skilled in either philosophy or literature, nor was he very original, but he compiled in his Apologies the most convincing and most popular arguments for Christianity extant. His strong, clear Christian witness became more than the Roman authorities could bear. He was prosecuted for atheism and found guilty. He and a group of his students were scourged and beheaded. Almighty God, who did give your servant Justin boldness to confess the Name of our Savior Jesus Christ before the rulers of this world: Grant that we likewise may ever be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in us. Amen.
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Almighty and everlasting God, you found your martyr Justin wandering from teacher to teacher, seeking the true God, and you revealed to him the sublime wisdom of your eternal Word: Grant that all who seek you, or a deeper knowledge of you, may find and be found by you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.