Thought of the day
10/17/2020 5:43:36 AM

"The holy Spirit will teach you at that moment what you should say"


Acts of the martyrdom of Saint Justin and his companions (AD 163)

(trans. ©Herbert Musurillo, 1972)

"The holy Spirit will teach you at that moment what you should say"

All the saints were arrested and brought before the urban prefect at Rome, a man named Rusticus. After they had been arraigned, the prefect said to Justin: (…) “What are the doctrines that you practise ?” “I have tried to become acquainted”, said Justin, “with all doctrines. But I have committed myself to the true doctrines of the Christians (…)” “What belief do you mean?” Justin said: “The belief that we piously hold regarding the God the Christians, whom alone we hold to be the craftsman of the ole world from the beginning, and also regarding Jesus Christ, child of God, who was also foretold by the prophets as one who was to come down to mankind as a herald of salvation and teacher of good doctrines. What I say is insignificant when measured against his godhead; but I acknowledge the power of prophecy (…), for you must know that in earlier times the prophets foretold his coming among men.” Rusticus the prefect said: “Tell me, where do you meet, where do you gather together your disciples?” Justin said: “I have been living above the baths of a certain Martinus, son of Timothy (…) Anyone who wished could come to my abode and I would impart to him the words of truth.” “You do admit, then, that you are a Christian?” “Yes, I am”. To Chariton the prefect Rusticus said: “Chariton, are you a Christian, too?” “I am,” said Chariton, “by God's command” (…) “And what are you Evelpistus?” “I too am a Christian. I have been freed by Christ and I share in the same hope by the favor of Christ” (…) “Did Justin convert you to Christianity?” “I have long been a Christian and ever shall be (…) I listened gladly to the teaching of Justin, but my Christianity I received from my parents.” (…) Paeon arose and spoke: “I am a Christian also.” The prefect Rusticus said to Liberian: “And what have you to say? Are you a Chris­tian, and do you also refuse to be pious?” Liberian said: “Yes, I too am a Christian. I believe in the one, true God and worship him.” The prefect turned to Justin: “You are said to be learned, and you think you know the true doctrine. Now listen: if you are scourged and be­headed, do you suppose that you will ascend to heaven (…) to receive certain worthy rewards?” “I have confidence that if I endure all this I shall possess his mansions. Indeed, I know that for all those who lead a just life there awaits the divine gift even to the consummation of the whole world (…) I do not think it, but I have accurate knowledge of it; I am fully convinced of it.”