Justin, born in Palestine at the start of the second century, searched everywhere for truth. He traveled to big cities, where he talked and studied with wise teachers. One day, a stranger told Justin to read the Old Testament prophets, who had foretold the coming of Christ. He did this, and it led him to see that the Christian religion taught the truth. He was baptized.
Justin began to speak and write in defense of Christianity, since some people were attacking it. His books give us insight into the early Church. In one of them he described the ceremony of Baptism around the year 160. It was similar to the ceremony today. In another place, he wrote that the Sunday meetings of the Christian community included readings from Scripture, a homily, offering of bread and wine, and giving Holy Communion.
In about 165, Justin was arrested for being a Christian but refused to give up his faith. The judge asked him, “Do you have an idea that you will go to heaven and receive some suitable rewards?” Justin answered, “It is not an idea that I have; it is something that I know well and hold to be most certain.” The judge ordered him killed.
Excerpted from Christ Our Life, by Sisters of Notre Dame of Chardon, Ohio
Image credit: Saint Justin Martyr by unknown artist, unknown date. Public Domain via Wikimedia.