St. Justin the Martyr

Commemorated October 20

St. Justin the Martyr was born in Palestine between 100 and 110 AD to pagan parents. As a young man he attended various philosophical schools before becoming an itinerant Christian philosopher. He eventually arrived in Rome where he founded a school. He, along with six companions, was Martyred (beheaded) some time between 163 and 167 AD (most probably in 165 AD). St. Justin is regarded as the most important of the 2nd century apologists. His Dialogue with Trypho the Jew, written about 155 AD, is the oldest Christian apology against Judaism in existance. The following is extracted from this dialogue:

"He [Christ] became Man by the Virgin so that the course which has taken by disobedience in the beginning through the agency of the serpent, might be also the very course by which it would be put down. For Eve, a virgin and undefiled, conceived the word of the serpent, and bore disobedience and death. But the Virgin Mary received faith and joy when the angel Gabriel announced to her the glad tidings that the Spirit of the Lord would come upon her and the power of the Most High would overshadow her, for which reason the Holy One being born of her is the Son of God. And she replied: 'Be it done unto me according to thy word".

Just as the Orthodox Church regards Christ has the New Adam (Rom 5:12-21; 1 Cor 15:21-22, 45), the Ever-Virgin Mary is also seen as a type of second Eve, through which the Word Himself was born receiving the recapitulation of Adam. The Virgin Mary's obedient submission to the Will of God counterbalanced Eve's disobedience in Paradise. That is, Eve as a virgin disobeyed God's Will by her unbelief, and the Virgin Mary, obeyed God's Will by her faith.

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