14 June 2021 (MIA)
Macedonian Orthodox Church Calendar
The Holy Martyr Justin the Philosopher
He was born of Greek parents in the Samaritan town of Shechem (formerly called Nablus), about a hundred and five years after Christ. He sought wisdom and philosophy with his whole heart, first with the Stoics, then with the Peripatetics, the Pythagoreans and finally with the Platonists. Although Platonic philosophy did not content him, it held him the longest, until he found something higher to attract him. By God’s providence, he encountered a remarkable old man who began to undermine his Platonic philosophy, reminding him that a man cannot fully know the truth about God till God reveals it to him, and telling him that God had revealed the truth about Himself in the books of Holy Scripture. Justin began to read the Scriptures, and became an utterly convinced Christian, but he would not be baptised or call himself a Christian until he had convinced himself of the falseness of the accusations that pagans found to bring against Christians. Going to Rome for a philosophical gathering, he quickly gained much respect there, and many followers. He witnessed the martyrdom of St Ptolemy and St Lucian, and, seeing the tortures of these innocent Christians, wrote an Apologia for Christians and Christian teaching and gave it to the Emperor Antoninus and the Senate. The Emperor read it carefully and ordered that the persecution of Christians cease. Justin took a copy of the Emperor’s decree and went off to Asia, where he saved many persecuted Christians by its aid. After that, he returned again to Rome. When a persecution arose under the Emperor Marcus Aurelius, he wrote a second Apologia and addressed it to the Emperor. Some disreputable philosopher, Crescens, a Cynic, denounced him as a Christian because Justin was getting the better of him in every dispute, and Justin was thrown into prison. Desiring his death, and fearing that judgement would not be given against him, Crescens took the opportunity to administer poison to him in the prison. Thus this great defender of the Christian faith finished his earthly course and went to the blessedness of eternity, in the year 166.
Jesuits of Ethiopia
Pope Jullius III sent the Jesuits to Ethiopia in the 16th century during the reign of the negus (emperor) Susenyos who had become a Catholic. Ven. Apollinaris de Almeida, (Spanish: 1587-1638) was appointed bishop to succeed the Jesuit Patriarch Affonso Mendez. Because of Catholicism’s strict moral code, most of the political leaders and wealthy citizens revolted, forcing Susenyos out of office and ordering the Jesuits to leave the country. Jesuits did not obey this expulsion order so Apollinaris along with others were arrested, imprisoned in an Orthodox monastery and eventually hanged or stoned to death.