Who Was Saint Jerome

St. Jerome

Jerome, Latinized as Eusebius Hieronymus, pseudonymSophronius (born 347 in Stridon, Dalmatia—died 419/420 in Bethlehem, Palestine; feast day September 30), biblical translator and monastic leader, is widely regarded as the most learned of the Latin Fathers. He was born in 347 in Stridon, Dalmatia and died 419/420 in Bethlehem, Palestine. He spent some time as a hermit before becoming a priest and serving as secretary to PopeDamasus I. At 389, he founded a monastery in Bethlehem, which is still in operation today.

He is most renowned for his Latin translation of the Bible, known as theVulgate, and is widely regarded as an adoctor of the church by many.


Jerome was born in Stridon, Slovenia, to well-to-do Christian parents in a location that is likely close to the contemporary city of Ljubljana. His education, which had begun at home, was completed in Rome when he was around 12 years old. There, he studied grammar, rhetoric, and philosophy, among other things. He was a dedicated scholar who was particularly interested in Latin literature. He attended the tombs and was baptized (c.366), most likely by Pope Liberius, near the end of his Roman schooling.

During his time at Treveris (later Trier), he became deeply drawn to monasticism.

The anasceticelite movement at Aquileia, Italy, was led by Bishop Valerianus, and he was associated with writers and scholars like as Tyrannius Rufinus, who translated the 3rd-century Alexandrian theologianOrigen, among others.

Upon arriving at Antioch in 374, exhausted by the journey as well as by internal turmoil, he stayed as a guest of the priest Evagrius of Antioch, where he is believed to have penned his first known work, De septies percussa (“Concerning Seven Beatings”).

In that dream, in which he was hauled before a tribunal of the Lord, he was accused of being a Ciceronian—a follower of the 1st-century-bce Roman philosopher Marcus Tullius Cicero—rather than a Christian, and he was severely lashed; he vowed that he would never again read or possess pagan literature after that experience.

  1. An allegorical commentary on the biblical bookObadiah was one of the outcomes of the dream, which he eventually renounced as a product of his youth and indifference, 21 years after it was published.
  2. However, the experience was not entirely successful.
  3. He felt lonely, so he begged for letters, and he considered desert food to be a form of penance, but he maintained that he was truly happy.
  4. He received Hebrew instruction from a Jewish convert, studied Greek, had manuscripts copied for his collection and for the benefit of his acquaintances, and maintained a lively contact with them all.
  5. Although Jerome was suspected of holding heretical doctrines (such as Sabellianism, which stressed the unity of God above his several personalities), he claimed that the solution to ecclesiastical and theological issues lay in his unity with the Roman bishop.
  6. In Antioch, Jerome’s host, Evagrius, persuaded him to join the party of Bishop Paulinus, who was opposed bySt.
  7. Gregory of Nazianzus andSt.

Paulinus opted to ordain Jerome because he recognized his value at this point, given that Jerome was already well-known as a scholar and a monastic figure of prominence.

He attended the exegetical lectures given by Apollinaris of Laodicea and paid a visit to the Nazarenes (Jewish Christians) of Beroea, where he examined their copy of a Hebrew gospel that claimed to be the originalGospel of Matthew (the Gospel of Matthew).

In addition to being a devoted student of St.

Gregory of Nyssa and the theologian Amphilochius of Iconium while attending the Council of Constantinople in 325.

As a result of these influences, he strengthened his command of the Greek language and developed a deep appreciation for Origen’s interpretation.

He also translated the church historianEusebius’Chronicon(Chronicles) in this context, and he continued to do so until the year 378.

There, he continued his intellectual studies on the Bible while also promoting the austere lifestyle.

His most significant accomplishments were revisions to the Old Latin version of the Gospels based on the best Greek manuscripts available to him, as well as his first attempt at revision of the Old Latin Psalter, which was somewhat unsuccessful, based on a fewSeptuagint (Greek translation of the Old Testament) manuscripts.

He taught them the Hebrew text of the Psalms, both orally and in writing, he answered their biblical questions, and he served as their spiritual guide as well as their teacher.

However, his preaching in support of the monastic life and his relationship with the ascetic coterie, as well as his castigation of Roman clergy, lax monks, and hypocritical virgins, as well as his correction of the Gospel text, provoked such a storm of criticism and slander, particularly after Damasus’s death in December 384, that he fled “Babylon” (Rome) in bitter indignation and made his way to the Holy Land in August 3 A religious and archaeological trip through all of Palestine and to the monastic centres of Egypt was undertaken by Jerome in conjunction with virgins headed by Paula; he spent over a month with the famous exegeteDidymus the Blind at Alexandria.

He arrived at Bethlehem in the summer of 386 and made himself at home.

Jerome spent his whole life here, with the exception of a few brief travels, until his death.

St. Jerome: Patron Saint of Librarians

We also commemorate the life of St. Jerome, patron saint of librarians and libraries, as well as archivists, translators, and encyclopedists, towards the end of September, during the week leading up to Homecoming 2009 and the commemoration of the 40th anniversary of Preus Library. The feast day of this canonized saint and Doctor of the Church is commemorated on September 30 in the Catholic Church, and it is also observed as a day of memorial in Lutheran congregations. It is believed that St. Jerome was born on September 30, 420 CE, in Bethlehem, Palestine to Christian parents in the year 347 CE in Stridon (current Northeast Italy).

  • St.
  • As a student, he began to compile a personal collection that was mostly comprised of pagan classics, which he later expanded.
  • When he was in the late 375s CE, he joined a group of Christian hermits in the desert east of Antioch, where he sought greater seclusion for his studies.
  • Despite living in a rock cave, he had maintained his growing collection, which included the works of Christian authors.
  • Jerome was ordained a priest and began his professional life as a biblical scholar.
  • St.
  • Due to the fact that other academics have documented copying manuscripts from this collection, it appears that his library was eventually housed in this monastery at some point.

In 404 CE, he finished his work on the Vulgate Bible and published it.

Despite the fact that St.

Augustine) in the history of ancient Latin Christianity, the reasons for his designation as the patron saint of librarians and libraries, as well as archivists, translators, and encyclopedists, come from folklore.

During the Renaissance, St.

He was an avid book collector, with a particular interest in pagan as well as Christian literature.

Finally, his translations of the Bible and Biblical commentaries were a watershed moment in the history of study.

Jerome is frequently shown as a half-clad hermit holding a cross, a skull, and a Bible in his hands.

He is frequently followed by a lion, from whose paw it is believed that he withdrew a thorn in order to save his life.

Books and writing materials are frequently depicted beside him in works of art that honor him.

Saint Jerome is a saint who lived in the fourth century.

Selected Letters of St.


Elizabeth Kaschins and Jane Kemp contributed to this work, which was published by the University of Chicago Press in 1939.

The Oxford Dictionary of Saints, 113:14 (September 1, 1988), 135-136; Library Journal, 113:14 (September 1, 1988), 135-136; Murphy, F.X., “St.

Jerome,” New York: Oxford University Press, 2004. Vol. 7 of The New Catholic Encyclopedia, 2nd edition. Detroit: Thomson/Gale, 2003; Thomason Jane Kemp is a woman who lives in the United Kingdom. Librarian Emerita (retired)

Saint Jerome

The Life of Saint Jerome Almost all of the saints are recognized for some great virtue or devotion that they shown during their lives, but Jerome is usually remembered for his short fuse! He had a bad temper and could write with a vitriolic pen, to be sure, but his love for God and his son Jesus Christ was extraordinarily intense; anyone who taught error was an enemy of God and truth, and Saint Jerome went after him or her with his mighty and sometimes sarcastic pen, as the saying goes. He was first and foremost a biblical scholar, having translated the majority of the Old Testament from the Hebrew.

  • He was a voracious learner, a thorough scholar, a prolific letter writer, and a consultant to monks, bishops, and the pope, among many other things.
  • It is not the most important edition of the Bible, but it was lucky that it was accepted by the Catholic Church.
  • Jerome has to put in a lot of effort in order to be able to accomplish this kind of work.
  • He began his education in his hometown of Stridon, in the Dalmatian region.
  • Each location he visited he stayed for several years, constantly attempting to locate the greatest possible teachers.
  • Following these preliminary investigations, he toured widely across Palestine, marking each location associated with Christ’s life with a torrent of adoration.
  • At long last, he found himself at Bethlehem, where he took up residence in the grotto that is believed to have been the birthplace of Jesus Christ.
  • Mary Major in Rome.
  • He possessed both the positive and negative aspects of being a fearless critic, as well as the typical moral dilemmas that face all men.
  • He was quick to rage, but he was also quick to feel regret, and he was even harsher on himself than he was on others when it came to his own failings.

History of St. Jerome

Saint Jerome was born in 347 in the Dalmatian town of Strido, Croatia. Following his father’s education, he was sent to Rome, where he studied ancient literature and rhetoric under the tutelage of his father. At 366, he was baptized by Pope Liberius when he was in Rome. While in Rome, he passionately studied Greek, Latin, history, and philosophy, and he painstakingly copied the majority of the materials he read in order to build his personal collection. Because of his versatility, he was also interested in other people’s sports and spectacles.

  • Hilary, before returning to Rome.
  • His voyage to the east began in 373, with plans to visit towns in Asia Minor as part of his itinerary.
  • There, he pursued humanistic and monastic studies, however he quickly shifted his attention away from the classics and toward Christian texts and thought.
  • He has now added his much-loved Bible study and copy work in his schedule.
  • He, on the other hand, had a profound spiritual experience in a dream and was accused of being a “Ciceronian, not a Christian” after waking up from his sleep.
  • However, he did not always adhere to his commitment to the Bible and theology, since he did not translate Scripture straight from Hebrew or arrange a workshop dedicated to the subject matter.
  • This encounter affected his decision to become a priest, although he did not join a diocese as a result of it.
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By 382 he had returned to Rome, where he was appointed as secretary and librarian by Pope Damasus.

The combination of excellent writing and asceticism, as well as the support of friends, promised great things.

Because he was protected by Damasus, there was nothing that could be done to bring him down.

Later, in 385, he departed Osta for the city of Antioch.

The party made its home at Bethlehem, where a monastery and convent were built to serve the community.

This is when he began his prolific writing career, which included his Biblical commentaries as well as his work on the Latin Bible, which he began in Bethlehem.

His attention was not diverted away from the less fortunate, and his study of the Bible remained.

In addition, he published Scriptural interpretations, biographies, and a history of writers, and he had a close correspondence with many of them.

His most significant accomplishment was, of course, the translation of the Bible, which is still in use by the Catholic Church today and served as the model for the King James Version, which was published more than 1,200 years later.

Rome had been devastated; Huns and Pagans had attacked and destroyed the city’s educational institutions.

His residence at Bethlehem lasted thirty-six years, during which time he was embroiled in doctrinal disputes with St.

He died in Bethlehem on March 25, 386.

Furthermore, his expertise is unrivaled in the Church, and he played an important role in the development of the Middle Ages’ culture by inventing allegorical and realistic schools of writing.

His remains are now housed at the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in the city of Rome.

His feast day is celebrated on the 30th of September.

There are various paintings of St.

Others depict him wearing a cardinal’s cap with tassels. Pictures depicting him pounding his breast with a stone while fasting in the desert are possibly more accurate representations of his life than any other depictions.

Who was Saint Jerome?

QuestionAnswer The man who became known as Saint Jerome was born as Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus in Stridon, Dalmatia, in the year 345 as Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus (possibly in modern-day Bosnia and Herzegovina). As a result of his efforts in translating the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures into Latin, which was then the most widely spoken language in the world, Jerome is regarded as one of the early church fathers. The Latin Vulgate is the name given to this translation of the Bible, which played an important role in the spread of Christianity throughout the early years.

  • His wish became a reality, and it was the Vulgate that was responsible for bringing the Scriptures out of the churches and into the lives of ordinary people.
  • In 1767, the Roman Catholic Church declared Jerome to be a saint, and he was canonized.
  • (In the Bible, saints are defined as all Christians who are members of the Body of Christ.
  • His interests, on the other hand, were grabbed by the study of Scripture and the quest of a more basic way of living.
  • He put his newly acquired language abilities to the test by translating from Greek to Latin the writings of one of his idols, Origen, when he returned to his usual life after the war.
  • Many people were outraged by this decision since the Greek Septuagint was considered to be inspired by the Hebrew Scriptures.
  • Despite the fact that Jerome is credited with the creation of the Latin Vulgate, he did not translate the entire Bible alone.

His primary interest was Hebrew, and he spent a great deal of time in the Old Testament, seeking assistance from Jewish intellectuals and priests as he went.

However, the Latin Vulgate that is now in use includes New Testament books that have been translated by various scholars.

When Jerome’s Latin manuscripts were translated into English, his detractors expressed displeasure with the foreign language and accused him of meddling with the Word of God.

The term “dynamic equivalency” refers to this form of translation.

Jerome justified his techniques by claiming that, while the language may have varied, the meaning remained the same throughout.

In his latter years, after the completion of the Vulgate, Jerome applied his interpreting abilities to specific books of the Old Testament.

He had a passion for expository writing and included his own personal viewpoints into his comments, which is evident in his incisive readings of the words of Scripture.

As he neared the end of his life, Jerome traveled to each geographical area significant in the life of Christ, devoting his time to study, prayer, and a search for the presence of God.

In Bethlehem, Jerome established a school for boys and acted as a spiritual advisor to the monks and nuns who had relocated to the city in order to be closer to him.

In honor of Saint Jerome, the Roman Catholic Church continues to observe that day as a feast day on the second Sunday in October.

As a result, the Eastern Orthodox Church commemorates him on June 15 as a saint. Questions regarding the Church’s History can be found here. What was the life of Saint Jerome like?

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St. Jerome – Saints & Angels

Prior to becoming known as Saint Jerome, he was known by the name Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus (Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus). He was born in the Dalmatian town of Stridon about the year 342 AD. The town, which did not exist during the time of Jerome, would most likely be located in Croatia or Slovenia today. Aelius Donatus, a well-known Roman grammarian, was responsible for the education of the young Jerome. Jerome studied Latin and Greek from him when he was a child. There is little information about his youth other than the fact that his parents were most likely well-to-do and Christian.

  • Jerome came to Rome when he was around 12 years old to further his education in grammar, philosophy, and rhetoric.
  • According to his own admission, he swiftly lost sight of his morals.
  • He was particularly interested in women, despite the fact that he was well aware that his actions were immoral.
  • He did this on Sundays, despite the fact that he was not a Christian.
  • Bonosus, Jerome’s roommate, was a Christian who had an impact on him, which was fortunate for him.
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Jerome, who had become increasingly interested in religious subjects, decided to put aside his secular concerns in order to devote his time and energy to theological pursuits.

In the year 370, he journeyed close to home, eventually arriving at the monastery of Aquileia.

Valerian, who had attracted some of the finest brains in Christian history to his abode in the mountains.

Rufinis was a monk who became well-known for his translations of Greek writings into Latin, which he did in his spare time.

Following his stay in Aquileia, Jerome continued his journey to Treves, Gaul, where he began to translate literature for his own personal use.

In 373, after spending some time in Gaul, he returned to Aquileia.

Bonosus set off for an island in the Adriatic, where he intended to dwell as a hermit for a period of time.

Following numerous lengthy detours along the route, Jerome ultimately arrived in Antioch in 374, after a long journey.

During the same year, a plague struck Jerome, causing him to get ill and taking the lives of several of his companions.

During his hospitalization, Jerome saw visions that strengthened his religious beliefs even further.

During this time period, he was frequently unwell.

This was something Jerome did not want to be linked with in any way.

However, church leaders in Antioch, as well as Pope Damasus, wished for him to be ordained instead.

He was ordained as a result of this.

Gregory of Nazianzus, who was widely regarded as a brilliant theologian.

Gregory’s departure from Constantinople in 382, Jerome journeyed to Rome for a council of the Church, where he met Pope Damasus for the first time.

While acting as secretary to the Pope, Jerome also worked to spread the notion of asceticism to others in his immediate vicinity.

When Pope Damasus died in 384, Jerome was subjected to a barrage of criticism and debate.

Because of his demeanor, he became unpopular and had a large number of detractors.

Both famous pagans who objected to his promotion of the faith and other Christians who lacked his wit launched nasty attacks against him, spreading false information about him.

At the time, she was one of his asceticism pupils, and he looked after her.

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Throughout her life, Jerome supplied her with advice and training, and she went on to become a lifetime friend and follower of Jerome, aiding him in his mission.

He traveled eastward, eventually arriving at Antioch in 386.

The party traveled to Jerusalem first, and then to Alexandria, Egypt, to complete their journey.

Jerome was a dedicated worker who spent much of his time defending Mary’s virginity, which some priests had ventured to call into doubt at the time.

Jerome was prone to becoming enraged, and even the revered St.

Eventually, Jerome and Augustine were able to mend their frayed bonds and resume their correspondence as friends and professional colleagues.

Jerome began his career while remaining in Rome, working under the leadership of Pope Damasus.

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We are not salespeople, but we rely on donations, which average $14.76 and are made by less than one percent of our readers each month.

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Paula died in the year 404, and she was eventually canonized as a saint by the Catholic Church.

Jerome was profoundly concerned by the happenings of the day.

Jerome died on the 30th of September in the year 420.

Later, his remains were moved to the city of Rome. Arheologists, Biblical scholars, librarians, students, and translators are among the many people who have St. Jerome as a patron saint. His feast day is celebrated on September 30th.

Who Is St. Jerome?

The Apostle St. Jerome is our patron saint among the Saints, and he is a beloved member of our parish community as a result of this association. Let us approach him and beg him to intervene on our behalf for all of our aspirations and worries. The following is a meditation on our dear patron by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, which was published on November 7, 2007. Greetings, Brothers & Sisters. St. Jerome is the subject of today’s devotion, an early Church Father who devoted his life to the Bible, translating it into Latin and commenting on it in his writings; but most importantly, he sought to put it into practice throughout his long earthly life, despite the well-known difficult and hot-tempered temperament with which nature had endowed him.

  1. He had a thorough education, and he was even sent to Rome to further refine his academic skills.
  2. Ep22, 7), but his love for and interest in the Christian religion won out over his desire and interest in the world.
  3. He traveled to Aquileia, where he joined a group of zealous Christians who had formed around Bishop Valerian, which he referred to as “a choir of blesseds” because of their fervor (Chron.
  4. Afterwards, he traveled to the East and lived as a recluse in the Desert of Chalcis, south of Aleppo (Ep14, 10), dedicating his time and energy to rigorous academic pursuits.
  5. He improved his understanding of Greek and Hebrew and began learning Hebrew (Ep125, 12).
  6. Meditation, isolation, and interaction with the Word of God all assisted in the development of his Christian sensibility.

Ep.22, 7) and was acutely aware of the contrast between pagan mentality and Christian life: a contrast made famous by the dramatic and lively “vision” – of which he has left us an account – in which he perceived himself to be being scourged before God because he was “Ciceronian rather than Christian” (cf (cf.Ep.22, 30).

The Pope pushed him to commence on a new Latin translation of the Biblical passages, both for pastoral and cultural reasons.

These noblewomen were also well-versed in the languages of Greek and Hebrew.

During his journey, he stopped in Bethlehem, where male and female monasteries were established thanks to the generosity of a noblewoman named Paula, as well as a hospice for pilgrims on their way to the Holy Land, “in memory of Mary and Joseph, who had found no room there” at the time (Ep.

His final years were spent in Bethlehem, where he continued to do an incredible amount of work: he commented on the Word of God, defended the faith by vigorously opposing various heresies, urged the monks on to perfection, taught classical and Christian culture to young students, welcomed pilgrims who were visiting the Holy Land with a pastor’s heart.

  • With his literary studies and vast erudition, Jerome was able to revise and translate a large number of biblical texts, which proved to be a valuable undertaking for the Latin Church and Western culture.
  • Jerome was able to produce a better translation by taking into consideration the original Hebrew and Greek texts of the Septuagint, the classical Greek version of the Old Testament that dates back to pre-Christian times, and the earlier Latin versions.
  • It is interesting to note the criteria that the great biblicist adhered to in his work as a translator, as they are not always obvious.
  • Furthermore, he reaffirms the need to refer to the original texts: “Should an argument on the New Testament arise between Latins because of interpretations of the manuscripts that fail to agree, let us turn to the original, that is, to the Greek text in which the New Testament was written.
  • (Ep.106, 2).

For him the commentaries had to offer multiple opinions “so that the shrewd reader, after reading the different explanations and hearing many opinions – to be accepted or rejected – may judge which is the most reliable, and, like an expert moneychanger, may reject the false coin” (Contra Rufinum1, 16).

  • Jerome opposed with vigor and liveliness the heretics who disputed the tradition and faith of the Church.
  • Further, he published biographies of monks, contrasting among other things their spiritual journeys as well as monastic ideal.
  • Lastly, in the critical Epistulae,a classic of Latin literature, Jerome emerges with the profile of a man of culture, an ascetic and a counselor of souls.
  • It appears to me, this above all; to adore the Word of God in Sacred Scripture.
  • It is consequently necessary that every Christian live in contact and in intimate dialogue with the Word of God entrusted to us in Sacred Scripture.
  • We must not read Sacred Scripture as a word of the past but as the Word of God that is also directed to us, and we must endeavor to comprehend what it is that the Lord wishes to tell us.
  • Thus, although it is always a personal Word, it is also a Word that fosters community, that grows the Church.
  • The privileged venue for reading and hearing to the Word of God is the liturgy, in which, celebrating the Word and making Christ’s Body present in the Sacrament, we realize the Word in our lives and make it visible among us.
  • Human views come and go.
  • On the other hand, the Word of God is the Word of eternal life, it contains within it eternity and is valid for ever.
  • I so finish with a message St Jerome once delivered to St Paulinus of Nola.

St Jerome said: “Seek to understand on earth those things which will remain ever valid in Heaven” (Ep.53, 10). (Ep.53, 10). -Pope Benedict XVI, November 7, 2007, General Audience, St. Peter’s Square

Saint Jerome

Jerome was raised in a wealthy pagan household, yet he had a wild and irresponsible upbringing. I studied law in Rome, Italy, and went on to become a lawyer. He converted and became a member of the Church of England, and he was baptized in 365, but it was only when he began his study of theology that he experienced actual conversion and the religion became a part of his daily life. He became a monk, and later, in order to concentrate on his Bible studies, he lived as a recluse in the Syrian deserts for many years, gaining fame and fortune.

  1. Priest.
  2. Gregory of Nazianzen’s student, to be precise.
  3. In the end, it took 30 years of labor to produce what we now know as the Vulgate translation, which has been the standard Latin version for more than a millennium and is still in use today.
  4. He spent the final 34 years of his life in the Holy Land as a semi-recluse, writing and translating books of history, biography, the writings of Origen, and a variety of other subjects.
  5. His name has long been connected with scrolls, writing, cataloging, and translating in popular culture, which has resulted in individuals who work in these disciplines considering him to be their patron — a guy who understands their life and their difficulties.
  6. –St.
  7. I had the impression that I was in the middle of the joys and throngs of Rome, despite the fact that I was in the most isolated area of a desolate and stony desert, burned up by the heat of the searing sun to the point that it frightens even the monks who live there.
  8. When I was alone with this adversary, I hurled myself at Jesus’ feet in spirit, wetting his feet with my tears, and I subdued my flesh by fasting for several weeks straight.

–From SaintJerome to SaintEustochium, in a letter The development we make in the virtue of mortification should be used to gauge our progress in the spiritual life; after all, it should be assumed that the larger the amount of violence we inflict on ourselves in mortification, the greater the amount of progress we will make in perfection.

  1. –SaintJerome You write in your book that while we are alive, we are able to pray for one another, but that once we have died, no one can hear the prayers of another person.
  2. In the year 406, Saint Jerome wrote an essay called Against Vigilantius.
  3. For if, as Paul claims, Christ is the source of God’s power and wisdom, and if a man who does not know the Scriptures does not know the source of God’s strength and wisdom, then ignorance of the Scriptures is synonymous with ignorance of Christ.
  4. It foretells that Emmanuel would be born of a virgin and will perform miraculous deeds and miracles in his lifetime.
  5. The book of Isaiah contains all that is proper to sacred Scripture, everything that can be stated in human language and understood by the human intellect, and everything that is not.

However, because the other Fathers held exalted positions in the Church and were depicted in ecclesiastical costumes, and because Saint Jerome held a dignified office in the court of Pope Dalmasius, it seemed appropriate to depict him as acardinal With several of his paintings, he is seen in a long crimson robe, with his head covered by a hood draped over his shoulders.

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Saint Jerome is also depicted as a penitent, or with a book and pen in his hand, and he is accompanied by a lion.

While he is depicted as a translator of the Scriptures, he is in a cave, dressed in a sombre-colored robe, and is either writing or gazing upward for inspiration when the scene takes place.

In a few instances, he appears to be receiving instructions from an angel.– fromSaints in Art, by Clara Irskine Clement

Saint Jerome

St. Jerome (c. 345-420) was an early Christian biblical scholar who lived in the fourth century. In great part, his translation and revision efforts resulted in the creation of the Vulgate, which is the official Latin Bible of the Roman Catholic Church. Jerome was born in what is now the region of northwest Yugoslavia and studied rhetoric at the University of Rome as a young man in preparation for a legal profession, which he ultimately chose not to pursue. The two decades after his early twenties were characterized by extensive travel and sporadic residence.

  • Scriptural study and the pursuit of Christian asceticism were two of his most burning hobbies, which he had previously developed.
  • Finding that life to be incompatible with his beliefs, he traveled to Constantinople in 379, where he studied under Gregory of Nazianzus and undertook the translation of homilies by Origen, the prominent biblical scholar whom Jerome greatly respected from the Greek into Latin.
  • On the Pope’s advice, he started a comprehensive rewriting of the Latin Gospels of the New Testament, with the goal of replacing earlier, inconsistent, and erroneous versions with an unified one based on the finest extant Greek manuscripts.
  • The death of Damasus in 384 precipitated Jerome’s departure from Rome, and he embarked on a pilgrimage to the monastic sites of Palestine and Egypt in the company of a group of ascetic enthusiasts.
  • He supervised over a monastery that had been endowed by the affluent Paula, who herself presided over a sister foundation for women in the adjacent area.
  • As a result, many (including Augustine) who were committed to adopting the original Greek Old Testament as the foundation for Latin translations criticized him throughout his lifetime, prompting him to write a book about his experiences.

Further Reading on St. Jerome

Various points of view on Jerome may be found in the anthology A Monument to Saint Jerome (1952), edited by F. X. Murphy, which has articles written by a number of experts on various elements of Jerome’s life and significance.

The works of St. Jerome are discussed in David S. Wiesen’s St. Jerome as a Satirist: A Study in Christian Latin Thought and Letters (1949), which deals with Jerome’s writings. For further information, see Jean Steinmann’s Saint Jerome and His Times (1959).

Additional Biography Sources

Kelly, J. N. D. (John Norman Davidson),Jerome: his life, writings, and controversies (Jerome: his life, writings, and disputes). HarperRow Publishing Company, New York, 1975. Warmington, William, and others A reasonable defense of the oath of loyalty, 1612, Ilkley and others: Scolar Press, 1975. A moderate defense of the oath of allegiance, 1612.

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  • Desiderius Erasmus is one of the most well-known of these academics. The Dutch scholar Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536) was the leading figure in the humanist movement that arose in the early sixteenth century. He was the intellectual arbitrator during the final years of Christian unity, and he continues to be one of the most contentious figures in European culture.

Who Was Saint Jerome?

As one of the most prominent intellectuals of the early Christian Church, Jerome (also known as Eusebius Hieronymus in Latin) deserves to be mentioned. His translation of the Bible into Latin would become the standard version throughout the Middle Ages, and his views on monasticism would have a long-lasting impact on the subject over the ages.

Childhood and Education

Jerome was born sometime about the year 347 C.E. at Stridon (which is possibly around Ljubljana, Slovenia). Having grown up as the son of a well-to-do Christian family, he first received an education at home before moving to Rome with his parents when he was approximately 12 years old to complete his education. Severely motivated to study, Jerome worked with his professors on grammar, rhetoric, and philosophy assignments, devoured as much Latin literature as he could get his hands on, and spent a lot of time in the tombs under the city.

His Travels

The next two decades saw Jerome travel all over the world. After arriving in Treveris (modern-day Trier), he developed a strong interest in monasticism. His association with an ascetic group that clustered around Bishop Valerianus in Aquileia led to his association with Rufinus, a scholar who had translated Origen (a 3rd-century Alexandrian theologian). Rufinus would grow to be a close friend of Jerome’s, as well as his rival in later years. Following that, he embarked on a trip to the East, and upon arriving at Antioch in 374, he was welcomed as a guest of the priest Evagrius.

A Dream That Would Have a Profound Impact on Him

In the early spring of 375, Jerome became ill and experienced a dream that would have a life-changing influence on his outlook on the world. In this dream, Jesus was dragged before a celestial court and accused of being a disciple of Cicero (a Roman philosopher who lived in the first century B.C.) rather than a Christian; he was cruelly lashed as punishment for this offense. On his return to consciousness, Jerome made the commitment to himself that he would never again read, much alone own, heathen literature.

Years later, Jerome would downplay the significance of the dream and disavow the commentary; yet, at the time, and for years following, he would refrain from reading classic literature for enjoyment.

A Hermit in the Desert

Jerome decided to become a recluse in the desert of Chalcis not long after having this encounter in the hopes of achieving inner peace. Because he had no guide and no prior experience in monasticism, the experience proved to be extremely difficult. His weak stomach refused to tolerate the harsh desert food; he spoke only Latin and felt terribly alone among Greek and Syriac-speaking people; and he was frequently tempted by the desires of the flesh. Jerome, on the other hand, constantly insisted that he was content there.

He also kept a journal of his experiences.

After a few years, however, the desert monks got embroiled in a squabbling over the bishopric of Antioch, which lasted for several years. Jerome, a Westerner in a city full of Easterners, found himself in a tough situation and decided to leave Chalcis.

Becomes a Priest but Doesn’t Take on Priestly Duties

He returned to Antioch, where he was welcomed by Evagrius, who presented him to major Church officials, including Bishop Paulinus, who had been his host the previous year. Jerome had gained a reputation as a superb scholar and ascetic, and Paulinus desired to ordain him as a priest in order to further his mission. In exchange for his agreement, Jerome simply stipulated that he be let to continue his monastic activities and that he would never be compelled to do priestly responsibilities. Following that, Jerome devoted the next three years to serious Bible study.

At one time, he journeyed to Beroea, where he found a copy of a Hebrew document that he believed to be the original Gospel of Matthew, which he shared with a group of Jewish Christians there.

His work also included the translation of Eusebius’ Chroncon(Chronicles), which he expanded to to the year 378.

Returns to Rome, Becomes Secretary to Pope Damasus

As a result of his return to Rome in 382, Jerome was appointed secretary to Pope Damasus. When the pope ordered him to write some short tracts explaining the scriptures, the young man was inspired to translate two lectures on the Song of Solomon by the early church father Origen. Also while working for the pope, Jerome attempted to modify the Old Latin version of the Gospels by using the best Greek manuscripts he could discover, an endeavor that was not wholly successful and, more importantly, was not well welcomed by the Roman clergy.

As well as writing pamphlets defending Mary’s status as a perpetual virgin and challenging the notion that marriage was as as noble as virginity, he also authored tracts on the subject of marriage.

Following the death of Pope Damasus, Jerome left Rome and traveled to the Holy Land to continue his mission.

The Holy Land

Jerome traveled throughout Palestine, accompanied by some of the virgins of Rome (who were headed by Paula, one of his closest companions), seeing locations of holy significance and researching both their spiritual and archaeological components. After a year, he relocated to Bethlehem, where Paula erected a monastery for men and three cloisters for women under his supervision. Jerome would spend the remainder of his life in this monastery, only departing for brief trips outside of the grounds.

Adversus Jovinianum was written by Jerome in response to the monk Jovinian, who argued that marriage and virginity should be seen as equally virtuous in the eyes of God.

In it, he defended monasticism as well as clerical celibacy, among other things.

His opposition to the Pelagian heresy culminated in the three volumes of Dialogi contra Pelagianos, which were published in the following year. He was inspired by a significant anti-Origen movement in the East, and he turned against both Origen and his long-time companion Rufinus as a result.

Latin Translation of the Bible and The Vulgate

The majority of Jerome’s work was completed over the last 34 years of his life. Additionally, in addition to tracts on monastic life and defenses of (and assaults on) theological practices, he penned some history, a couple of biographies, and several biblical exegesis. Most crucially, he understood that the Gospels he’d begun was insufficient and, using the editions that were regarded the most authoritative at the time, he rewrote his previous version. Jerome also worked on the Latinization of works from the Old Testament.

Jerome died about the year 419 or 420 C.E.

Saint Jerome is the patron saint of libraries and translators, as well as other professions.

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