What Was Saint Jerome’s Major Contribution To The Early Church

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.

  • 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.
  • However, the experience was not entirely successful.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In Antioch, Jerome’s host, Evagrius, persuaded him to join the party of Bishop Paulinus, who was opposed bySt.
  • 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.


Sign up for Christianity Today and you’ll gain instant access to back issues of Christian History! “Create a passion for the Bible by learning about it. Spend your time with them, concentrate on them, and make them the main focus of your research and investigation.” By the time he was in his mid-30s, Eusebius Hieronymus Sophronius, better known as Jerome, was arguably the finest Christian scholar the world had ever known. He is often regarded as the most important man in the history of Bible translation, having spent more than three decades developing a Latin version that would become the norm for more than a millennium after his death.

On top of all that, Jerome was a severe ascetic with an unpleasant demeanor, who sarcastically and invectively attacked his adversaries.


312 Conversion of Constantine
323 Eusebius completesEcclesiastical History
325 First Council of Nicea
345 Jerome born
420 Jerome dies
432 Patrick begins mission to Ireland

From Cicero to scorpions

Born in the Dalmatian town of Stridon (near modern-day Ljubljana, Slovenia), Jerome received his education at Rome, where he studied grammar, rhetoric and philosophy under the tutelage of his affluent Christian parents. He was baptized there when he was 19 years old. Jerome, like many other students, supplemented his academic pursuits with travel. However, instead of being lured to the sensuous pleasures of the empire, Jerome found himself pulled to the ascetics he encountered along the route, particularly those in Trier (now in southwest Germany) and Aquileia, Italy, where he joined a company of elite ascetics, which he later abandoned.

  • In the year 373, however, the group broke, and Jerome resumed his travels, this time embarking on “an uncertain trip” to the Holy Land, where he would eventually become a hermit.
  • He even had the opportunity to study under Apollinarius of Laodicea (who was later condemned as a heretic for teaching Christ had only human flesh, not a human mind or will).
  • He was hauled before a divine tribunal and found guilty of preferring classic pagan literature to Christian literature: “Ciceronianus es, non Christianus,” (You are a follower of Cicero, not of Christ), said his judge.
  • Although Jerome had a vivid dream, he minimized it and returned to reading classic literature more than a decade later.
  • He chose to settle in Chalcis, where the rigors of everyday living were hard for a young man.
  • Even if I was sheltered by the barrenness of the desert, I could not withstand the temptations of sin and the burning heat of my own nature, as he subsequently admitted.

However, despite Jerome’s repeated promises that he was content at Chalcis, he eventually returned to Antioch after a few years—shortly after other hermits began to think Jerome was a covert heretic (for his views on the Trinity, which, some argued, emphasized the unity of God at the expense of the three persons).

Sharp-tongued secretary

Jerome was already well-known as a distinguished scholar and monk at this time. As soon as Bishop Paulinus arrived, he ordained him as a priest, but the monk refused to accept the appointment unless he was guaranteed that he would never be forced to do priestly duties. Instead, Jerome immersed himself in scholarly pursuits, particularly those pertaining to the Bible. As part of his training, he attended expository seminars and inspected Gospel parchments while also meeting other well-known expositors and theologians.

Jerome, on the other hand, angered the pleasure-loving Romans with his sharp tongue and frank criticism during his brief three-year stay there in the first place.

“Damasus is my mouth,” he boasted, implying that he possessed considerable power.

As soon as Damasus died in 384, Jerome escaped to “Babylon” in order to reach the Holy Land.

Creator of the Vulgate

During the reign of Jerome, a wealthy pupil of his established a monastery in Bethlehem for him to oversee (it also included three cloisters for women and a hostel for pilgrims). Here he completed his most important contribution (which he had begun in 382 at Damasus’s direction): the translation of the Bible into everyday Latin (later to be called the Vulgate, meaning “common”). Despite the fact that Latin translations were accessible, the accuracy of these translations varied greatly. “‘If we are to stake our confidence on the Latin texts,’ Damasus had once written to him, “it is for our opponents to tell us which ones they think we should believe in, for there are practically as many forms as there are copies.’ Alternatively, if we are to discover the truth through a comparison of many sources, why not go back to the original Greek and correct the errors introduced by inaccurate translators, the blundering alterations of confident but ignorant critics, and everything else that has been inserted or changed by copyists who were more asleep than awake?” Initially, Jerome worked from the Greek Old Testament, known as the Septuagint, as his source material.

  1. Later translators would be required to follow his lead, as he created a precedent that the Old Testament would have to be translated from the original Hebrew.
  2. One of the most significant discrepancies he saw between the Septuagint and the original Hebrew text was that the Jews did not include the writings now known as the Apocrypha in their canon of Holy Scripture, which was the case in the Septuagint.
  3. Later on, Reformation leaders would delete them completely from their Bibles.
  4. In 1546, the Council of Trent designated it the only valid Latin version of the Scriptures, making it the only Latin text of the Bible.
  5. It was only in the late sixteenth century that revised versions were made available.
  6. This continued until the Reformation, when translators returned to the Vulgate.

Jerome, on the other hand, gained a respect for the Word of God by his scholarship, which he kept with him for the rest of his life: “Create a love for the Bible by learning about it. Spend your time with them, concentrate on them, and make them the main focus of your research and investigation.”

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.

Saint Jerome

Jerome was born in 347 in the Dalmatian town of Strido, Croatia. Having completed his father’s education, he was transferred to Rome, where he pursued a degree in classics and rhetoric. His baptism by Pope Liberius took place when he was there in 366, according to tradition. In Rome, he zealously studied Greek and Latin, as well as history and philosophy, and he painstakingly copied the majority of the texts he read in order to build his personal library, which is still in existence. His versatility allowed him to take pleasure in other people’s sports and shows.

  • Hilary’s writings.
  • His voyage to the east began in 373, with plans to visit towns in Asia Minor as part of the itinerary.
  • It was there that he pursued humanistic and monastic studies, yet his interests soon changed from classical literature to Christian literature.
  • The study of Scripture and copy work, which he had always enjoyed, were now included, too.
  • A powerful spiritual experience was experienced by him in a dream, yet he was accused of being a “Ciceronian, not a Christian” after waking up from his sleep.
  • He translated Scripture straight from Hebrew and created a workshop in which he dedicated himself to the Bible and theology; yet, he did not always follow through with his commitment.
  • The priesthood was inspired by this event, and he chose to stay independent of any dioceses.

After his return to Rome in 382 and the appointment of Pope Damasus as secretary and librarian, he achieved fame and fortune.

When combined with companions, this excellent writing and asceticism promised big things.

Little could be done against him because he was under the protection of Damasus.

He was expelled from Rome as a result of the incident.

Many virgins and widows arrived to Antioch a few months later, where they encountered Jerome for the first time.

The start of his writing career, which lasted until his death, was marked by this move.

Along with this, he assisted in the founding of monasteries.

In addition to translating the Old Testament from Hebrew, Jerome also translated portions of the New Testament from Greek and other languages.

His other activities included preaching, holding conferences, and instructing the younger generation Obviously, his biggest accomplishment was 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 a thousand years after his death.

  • A revolt broke out in Rome, and Huns and Pagans overran the city and destroyed the city’s educational institutions.
  • His thirty-six-year residence at Bethlehem was punctuated by disagreements over theology, including disputes with St.
  • He died in Bethlehem in 386.
  • Furthermore, his expertise is unrivaled in the Church, and he played a significant role in the development of the Middle Ages’ culture by inventing allegorical and realistic schools of writing, among other contributions.
  • Jerome was the first Christian martyr.
  • The year 1989 saw his ordination as a Priest and Doctor of the Church.
  • Among librarians, he is known as the patron saint.
  • Jerome, including one depicting him with an attendant lion, one of which has thorn taken from it by his fingertip.

His tasseled cardinal’s cap is seen in several depictions. The images of him fasting in the desert, hitting his breast with a stone, are arguably the most accurate representations of his life.

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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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 congregated 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 adversary in later years. Following that, he embarked on a pilgrimage to the East, and upon arriving in Antioch in 374, he was welcomed as a guest of the priest Evagrius.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

  1. 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.
  2. It is not the most important edition of the Bible, but it was lucky that it was accepted by the Catholic Church.
  3. Jerome has to put in a lot of effort in order to be able to accomplish this kind of work.
  4. He began his education in his hometown of Stridon, in the Dalmatian region.
  5. Each location he visited he stayed for several years, constantly attempting to locate the greatest possible teachers.
  6. Following these preliminary investigations, he toured widely across Palestine, marking each location associated with Christ’s life with a torrent of adoration.
  7. 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.
  8. Mary Major in Rome.
  9. He possessed both the positive and negative aspects of being a fearless critic, as well as the typical moral dilemmas that face all men.
  10. 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.

St. Jerome in His Study – Medieval & Renaissance Studies

Van Cleve’s Jerome is seen in his study, where he is surrounded by objects that represent his high status in the Catholic Church. The painting is painted in Van Cleve’s characteristic style of cold realism. In addition to being one of the early Roman Church’s four “Fathers,” Jerome was an incredibly well-read man who was considered to be one of the Church’s best “Church Doctors.” Upon completion of his translation and revision of the Latin New Testament, together with his version of the Old Testament, he established himself as the standard text of the Bible in Western Europe.

  • Van Cleve was adhering to the accepted pattern of depicting Jerome as the ideal scholar by putting him in a study context.
  • The skull denotes the seat of mind as well as spiritual perfection, and it is often shown as such.
  • In the same way that glasses were created to refine and sharpen the power of the eyes, Jerome’s work represented a significant contribution to the Church: via his effort, the word of God was clarified and purified into a more authentic shape.
  • The light emitted by the candle is a metaphor for the light of God.
  • The fact that the book is open, symbolizing knowledge and wisdom, two characteristics for which Jerome was most respected, suggests that Jerome was capable of deciphering the secrets of the cosmos.
  • The bird was frequently used as a representation of paradise and other spiritual realms.
  • The bird can also have a negative connotation, representing the inconstancy of human imagination, as well as distraction and diversion.
  • Symbolizing the act of washing before a ritual or sacrifice, the wash basin and white towel reflect the cleansing, stimulating, and healing properties of water.
  • It was believed that the lion was linked with Jerome, and one may be seen outside the window.
  • The lion also carried negative overtones such as pride and aggression, which Jerome was able to overcome after training and controlling the lion.

Written by Emily Roberts, a Medieval and Renaissance Studies major at the University of California, Berkeley. The Penguin Dictionary of Symbols, edited by Jean Chevalier and Alain Gheerbrant, is one of the primary sources.

Patron Saint

Priest, Doctor of the Church, and other titles St. Jerome was born Eusebius Hieronymus Sophronius, who went on to become a key player in the scholastic activity of the early church. During Jerome’s early years, his father, an affluent Christian farmer, schooled him in the fundamentals of both literature and religion, and enrolled him in the local Christian catechumenate to prepare him for baptism, following which he sent Jerome to Rome (about 360) for a classical education. Here, under the tutelage of the renowned grammarian Aelius Donatus, Jerome learned the Latin language and, subsequently, the pagan writers of ancient Greece.

  1. Liberius, he fell into a state of spiritual laxity.
  2. After fleeing to Antioch in around 374, Jerome became unwell and had an experience that he characterized as a dream in which he felt a profound feeling of wrongdoing in the eyes of God.
  3. As a recluse for four years in the Chalcis desert, Jerome maintained a strict regimen of daily prayer, mortification, and study; he was particularly interested in the Hebrew language during the time.
  4. In 382 Jerome traveled to Rome to participate in the Council convened by Pope Damasus I, following which Damasus appointed Jerome to be his secretary, a position he held for the rest of his life.
  5. The Latin Psalter was the first thing he worked on, and it was based on the recognized Greek text of the Septuagint.
  6. In the middle of his success as papal secretary, Jerome managed to earn himself a reputation for being ruthlessly outspoken and cruelly sardonic, earning him the ire of many.
  7. A monastery and convent were constructed at Bethlehem in 686, thanks primarily to the generosity of his patron and friend, St.
  8. He also discovered a free school as well as a hospice.
  9. It was also during this time period that he completed the straight translation of the Old Testament from the original Hebrew text.
  10. Besides his translations, Jerome authored other books of commentary on specific passages of the Bible, which are still available today.
  11. In his life, St.

As a result, the feast day of St. Jerome is celebrated on September 30th.

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St. Jerome

Saint Jerome, the priest, monk, and Doctor of the Church who was recognized for his exceptional depth of scholarship and translations of the Bible into Latin in the Vulgate, is commemorated by the Church today, September 30th, with the celebration of his memorial service. As a result of his contributions as a Church Father and his patronage of subsequent Catholic scholarship, Jerome is also revered as a patron of people with difficult personalities, owing to the sometimes extreme approach with which he articulated his scholarly opinions as well as Catholic teaching during his lifetime.

Jerome was born in 340 as Eusebius Hieronymus Sophronius in what is now Croatia, and he received Christian instruction from his father, who sent him to Rome to study rhetoric and classical literature under the tutelage of a professor of rhetoric.

Jerome, who was baptized by Pope Liberius in 360, traveled widely among the monastic and intellectual centers of the emerging Christian kingdom after receiving his baptism.

As a result of his desire to live a life more akin to that of the first generation of “desert fathers,” Jerome left the Adriatic and traveled east to Syria, stopping in several Greek cities of civil and ecclesiastical importance on the way to his true destination: “a wild and stony desert, to which, through fear or hell,” he had voluntarily condemned himself, with no other company than scorpions and wild beasts.

  1. Jerome’s letters provide a vivid account of the temptations and challenges he faced during his years as a desert hermit in the Sahara.
  2. As an arbitrator and disputant of issues in the Church, Jerome continued to be actively involved, while also serving as a spiritual father to a group of nuns who had come to be his pupils while he was in Rome.
  3. Jerome decided to acquire Hebrew from a Christian monk who had converted from Judaism, rather than reading pagan literature as a diversion.
  4. He was attempting to maintain the connection between the Hebrew language and culture and the expanding world of Greek and Latin-speaking Christianity.
  5. Jerome spent 15 years translating the majority of the Hebrew Bible into its authorized Latin form, having been prepared by these endeavors.
  6. Jerome proceeded to Bethlehem and founded a monastery, where he spent the remainder of his life immersed in study, prayer, and asceticism, until his death.

Jerome once stated, “There is no such thing as a good deed.” “As I should, I interpret the Scriptures in accordance with the commands of Christ: ‘Search the Scriptures,’ ‘Seek and you shall find,’ and ‘Seek and you shall be found.’ 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.” Jerome died in his Bethlehem monastery in 420, having survived both Barbarian invasions of the Roman empire and a revival of riots triggered by theological differences in the Church.

He had lived through both events.

Saint Jerome (scholar)

He was a Church Father, Scripture scholar, and Doctor of the Church, who was born in Stridon, extreme (modern) northeast Italy, about 345 and died in Bethlehem, Palestine, between 419 and 420. The author’s life, literary career, and character are all discussed. Jerome was born Sophronius Eusebius to Christian parents in the town of Stridon, “on the outskirts of Dalmatia and Pannonia,” where he was raised (De vir. ill.135). At the age of 12, he was sent to Rome alongside Bonosus to study grammar, rhetoric, and the liberal arts under the illustrious grammarian Donatus, who was also his teacher.

Having traveled through Gaul and Germany, he stopped at Treves (Trier, Germany), where he became acquainted with monasticism, copied Hilary of Poitiers’s De Synodis and De Psalmis, and then joined a choir of ascetics (Jerome, Chron.329), which included Rufinus and Chromatius, in Aquileia under Bishop Valerian (c.370).

He retreated for two years to the desert of Chalcis, outside Aleppo, where he fell ill and had his famous dream in which he was accused of being a “Ciceronian, not a Christian” (Epist.22:30), and during this time he refined his Greek and learned Hebrew, as well as completing his missionary work (homo trilinguis: Contra Ruf.3:6).

Disturbed by the meletian schism at Antioch, the apostle Paul travels to Rome.

He listened to Apollinaris of Laodicea’s lectures on Scripture, and he was consecrated a priest (379) by the Rome-recognized Paulinus of Antioch, who did not have any pastoral responsibilities.

He also translated the World Chronicle of Eusebius of Caesarea (salamis), as well as some of Origen’s homilies and a number of other works.

His ascetical career began on the Aventine, where he served as spiritual pedagogue and director to a group of noble women including marcella, her widowed mother, Albina, and sister, Asella; paula and her daughters Blesilla and eustochium; and Marcellina, Felicitas, Furia, Lea, fabiola, and Principia.

In addition, he wrote theRefutation of Helvidius, which was intended to demonstrate the perpetual virginity of the Blessed Virgin Mary; hisDialogus contra Luciferianos, which dealt with the validity of heretical baptism, priestly and episcopal orders; and a translation of Eusebius of Caesarea’s tables of concordance, which he prepared himself.

Blesilla’s death (Epist.45:3), he abandoned his hopes of succeeding Damasus (d.

When Jerome returned from his travels in Crete and Antioch, he traveled with St.

He settled in Bethlehem (386), where he and Paula constructed a twin monastic complex.

To spread cenobitical propaganda, Jerome wrote the Life of Hilarion, the Life of the Monk Malchus, Two Books against Jovinian in defense of virginity, and theDe viris illustribus(393–395), a list of 135 authors from Peter to himself, including Philo, Josephus, and the heretics Tatian, Bardesanes, and Novatian for their influence on Christian authors, among other things.

There’s a debate regarding Origen.

Following this, a controversy erupted in which Bishop John of Jerusalem joined forces with Rufinus and denied Jerome and his monastery spiritual support.

It was resolved at Easter 397, and Rufinus returned to Italy, but the dispute resurfaced when Jerome’s friends in Rome, particularly SS.

After receiving a warning from Jerome, Rufinus responded with hisApology against the Emperor Jerome; Jerome responded to him in two books before viewing the complete manuscript, rebutting Rufinus’ reply with a third book before seeing the full text.

ad Ezech.).

Others demonstrate his interests in education, asceticism, history, and doctrine, among other things.

He exchanged 19 letters with Augustine (Florilegium Patristicum22) and several with paulinus of Nola (Epist.53) and the virgin Demetrias.

He also wrote refutations of the anti-ascetical doctrines of Vigilantius and the Pelagians, and he continued the massive work of Scripture translation and study that had begun in his youth.


Mary Major in Rome, according to legend.

It is clear that Jerome was sensitive and apprehensive of ascetical and theological adversaries; his indulgences in his strong tastes and disapprovals of things both literary and personal reflect his complex personality.

A issue with his literary sources prevents current psychiatric examination into his personality.

Scholar of the Scriptures.

in lib.

Origen’s influence can be felt.

He wrote his own essay on Isaiah’s vision of the Seraphim (Isa.

Epist.18), in which he rejected Origen’s interpretation of the two Seraphim as representing God the Son and the Holy Spirit, as well as Origen’s interpretation of the two Seraphim as representing God the Holy Spirit (Epist.84:3).

On the basis of a great text of the original Greek Gospels, he corrected and expanded the Old Latin version of the New Testament, and he rewrote and edited the Psalter, which was based on the Septuagint.

He translated 39 homilies of Origen on St.

In 389, he published his commentary on Ecclesiastes, which was the first Latin work to take cognizance of the Hebrew text.

He completed a fresh translation of all of the books of the Hebrew Bible, as well as a commentary on the 12 minor Prophets, a series of notes on St.


A number of brief explanations of various scriptural problems were written in letters to friends and petitioners, and he distributed them widely.

1–32:415–419), as well as a few minor tracts, concluding with an exposition of Psalm 89 (Epist.

While his earlier works are replete with allegorical interpretation, his later works demonstrate a well-balanced utilization of the best thought available at the time for “giving my Latin readers the hidden treasures of Hebrew erudition” in accordance with the true meaning of the Scriptures.

He was gentle and kind with his close associates in the ascetical life, though he was unmerciful toward his enemies.

Because of the elegance of his Latin style, the strength of his invective, and the breadth of his knowledge, he is frequently depicted in supine penance or wearing a cardinal’s hat, which makes him a favorite of Renaissance scholars (Germany).

Since the ninth century, he has been regarded as a founding father of the Christian church.

Bibliography: 22–30;Opera,ed.

hilberg and S.

(Corpus Scriptorum ecclesiasticorum Latinorum 54–56, 59; Vienna 1910–13);ed.



43; Paris 1956);Sur Jonas,ed.



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(2d, new ed.


Brechter et al., pt.

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vacant et al., 15 volumes (Paris, 1903–50; Tables générales, 1951–), 2:2498–2505.

altaner,Patrology, tr.

graef from the 5th German edition, Tables générales, 2:2498–2505.


(Spicilegium sacrum Lovaniense 1, 2; Louvain 1922);Dictionnaire de la Bible,suppl.


(Paris 1928–);Dictionnaire de la Bible,suppl.


(Paris 1928–);Dictionnaire de la Bible 4:889–897 a.


Gerolamo(Rome 1950).

d’ivray,Saint Jérôme et les dames de l’Aventin(Paris 1938).

antin,Essai sur saint Jérôme(Paris 1951); “Les Idées morales de S.


murphy, ed.,A Monument to Saint Jerome(New York1952) (New York1952).

hagendahl,Latin Fathers and the Classics(Göteborg 1958).

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(Monaco 1996).


kelly,Jerome: His Life, Writings, and Controversies(London 1975).






ridderbos,Saint and Symbol: Images of Saint Jerome in Early Italian Art,tr.

de waard-dekking (Groningen 1984) (Groningen 1984) .



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61;Vita di San Girolamo,ed.



(Kampen, the Netherlands 1992).

krumeich,Hieronymus und die christlichen feminae clarissimae(Bonn 1993).


(Leiden 1993).

kamesar,Jerome, Greek Scholarship, and the Hebrew Bible(Oxford 1993).


(Magnano 1996).

locher,Domenico Ghirlandaio, Hieronymus im Gehäuser(Frankfurt am Main 1999).


vergerio,PierpaoloVergerio the Elder and Saint Jerome,tr.


1999). (Tempe, Ariz. 1999). m. luther,Annotierungen zu den Werken des Hieronymus,ed. m. brecht and c. peters (Cologne 2000). (Cologne 2000). d. f. heimann, “Christian Humanism in the Fourth Century: Saint Jerome,” inThe Endless Fountain,ed. m. morford (Columbus, Ohio 1972), 58–126.

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