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A THIRST FOR THE TRUTH THAT LED TO CHRIST

Father Francis's picture
Saint Justin

Some people receive the faith in a sudden and dramatic way like Saint Paul on the Damascus road. Others like Blessed John Henry Newman, arrive at the truth after long years of study and enquiry. For Saint Justin the journey towards the Catholic faith was long and difficult, but once he had recognized the truth he was prepared to defend it with his life.

Born in Palestine around the beginning of the second century, to pagan parents, he had a thirst for knowledge and after studying Plato and other Greek philosophers, he in turn became a teacher of philosophy. But the more he studied classical thought the more dissatisfied he became he became: he could not find the answers to his questions about life. Then he began to study Christianity and gradually realized that Christ, through the Church, could show him the true way. He became a convert and spent the rest of his life teaching the faith to others and defending it against its critics. He wrote many books explaining Catholic theology but, because of his brave defence of Christianity, Justin was beheaded in 165 under the persecutions of Marcus Aurelius.

Throughout his life, Justin continued learning and studying, always striving to improve his knowledge of the faith. In his writings he explains how the use of reason can lead us to faith, and the more we understand it the more we will love it. God has given each of us the desire for knowledge and the ability to learn. Our faith is so rich, and we can never exhaust its treasures, but we can do our best to understand and appreciate it. If we can talk intelligently and confidently about our beliefs, we can be powerful witnesses. In our daily working life we will meet people who, through ignorance and misinformation, are hostile to the Catholic faith. We can reach out to those people, as Justin did, through reasoned argument and careful explanation.

Let us ask Saint Justin, patron of philosophers, to help us acquire a deeper knowledge of our faith so that, like him, we may draw others to Christ.