St Justin, Martyr
The most illustrious at that time was St. Justin who was born at Nablus (Samaria) about the year 100. As a pagan philosopher, he examined the teaching of the pagan philosophical systems and only found error and false wisdom; for human intelligence rejecting supernatural light soon goes astray (Epistle, Gradual). St. Justin then studied the word of the crucified God and became a Christian. Seeing in reason a precious auxiliary of faith, he opened at Rome the first school of Christian philosophy and there taught "the eminent science of Jesus Christ" (Collect).
He became celebrated especially by the two Apologies which he had the courage (Gospel) to address successively to the persecuting emperors Antoninus and Marcus Aurelius (Introit).
An edict of Antoninus mitigated the persecution. Marcus Aurelius on the contrary caused St. Justin to be scourged and condemned him to death. He died a martyr on April 13th, about 162-165.
"Let us conform to the teaching of the blessed martyr Justin" (Postcommunion) "so that we may remain firm in the faith" (Collect).
Narraverunt mihi iniqui fabulationes, sed non ut lex tua: ego autem loquebar de testimoniis tuis in conspectu regum et non confundebar. * Beati immaculati in via, qui ambulant in lege Domini.
The wicked have told me fables, but not as Thy law; but I spoke of Thy testimonies before kings, and I was not ashamed. * Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord.
(Psalm 118:85,46,1 from the Introit of Mass)
Deus, qui per stultitiam crucis eminentem Jesu Christi scientiam beatum Justinum Martyrem mirabiliter docuisti; ejus nobis intercessione concede; ut, errorum circumventione depulsa, fidei firmitatem consequamur.
O God, who by the foolishness of the cross, didst wonderfully teach blessed Justin, Thy martyr, the excellent knowledge of Jesus Christ; grant us, through his intercession, that driving away all wiles of error, we may become steadfast in faith.