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Justin Martyr aka Saint Justin (AD 100 – ca. 165) was born in Palestine and grew up in a pagan family. Justin converted to Christianity at about 30 years old. He attributed his conversion to conversations he had with an old man while travelling from Palestine to Rome who talked to Justin about God and the testimony of the prophets. He was also significantly influenced by the fearlessness of Christians as they faced execution. Justin became a well-known proponent of the Christian faith writing a First Apology to the Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius in which he argued Christianity was not a threat to Rome. In a Second Apology to written to Marcus Aurelius soon after he became emperor in 161, Justin argued the Christian faith alone was rational. Four years later, Justin and some of his pupils were arrested for their faith which they were told to denounce by making a sacrifice to the gods. Justin refused replying, “No one who is rightly minded turns from true belief to false.” Because Justin refused to recant his faith he was beheaded and was subsequently given the surname of Martyr.

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