Today’s Saint

Daily Journey with the Saints

June 1 | Let Your Light Shine

Saint Justin Martyr

A.D. 100–165

Are you letting your light shine?

This is what Jesus tells us to do in Matthew 5:16: "Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven."

Let’s focus on just two of the many insights from this verse. Here’s the obvious one: God wants you to let your light shine. The less obvious is that Jesus assumes that you will do good works. You were made for good works. You were created to let your light shine.

Saint Justin Martyr let his light shine so brightly that it has passed down all the way to the present times.

Justin spent his early years as a philosopher, earning him the nickname, “Justin the Philosopher.” But everything changed when an elderly man told him that the prophets of the Bible were better guides to the truth than any of the philosophers he studied. Justin dove into the Scriptures and converted to Catholicism. His faith was only strengthened by the light of the early Christians and martyrs around him. 

Justin immediately set about performing physical acts of service to others, but it was his engagement with the wider, non-Christian world that changed the course of early Christian history. He wrote two books for the Roman Emperor and the Senate called "The First Apology" and "The Second Apology," seeking to correct misconceptions about Christianity and stop the unjust persecution of Christians. But he wasn’t just working to convince the Roman rulers. He engaged in public debates that captured the attention of the general Roman population.

Saint Justin Martyr’s ultimate good work was giving his life for his faith. He refused to sacrifice to the pagan gods, and was condemned to a public execution. Killing the early Christians did not have the effect the Romans anticipated. These martyrs only shined all the brighter through their death.

As the saying goes, “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.”

Within each of us there is a light. It is the light of God, and it shines through the power of good works. Letting our light shine reflects not only the wonder of God but also the greatness of the human spirit. 

There are plenty of reasons today to feel discouraged, helpless, and overwhelmed, but no amount of darkness can overcome the light. 

Discover your light. Cherish your light. Let your light shine!


I will let my light shine today.

This reflection is brought to you from book title.

Also Known As: Justin the Philosopher

Patron Saint of: Philosophers

Symbols: A Quill Pen and Sword

Feast Day: June 1

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