Tuesday, June 28, 2011

St. Jerome of Stridonium

Joyous feast! St. Jerome was born to an Orthodox family in the Roman city of Stridonium, which is believed to have been in ancient Dalmatia, now part of Croatia, or Pannonia, now divided between western Hungary, eastern Austria, and countries of the former Yugoslavia. As a youth he was sent to Rome to further his studies. While there he fell into dissolution, but by the age of twenty the Saint had repented and been baptized.

Not long after his baptism St. Jerome visited Gaul, present day France, and there began to desire to dedicate his life to God as a monk. Returning to his home city in 372 the Saint found his parents departed and took over the care of his siblings, putting everything in order before leaving the West to study and struggle in the monasteries of Syria before traveling to Constantinople, where he met Sts. Gregory the Theologian and Gregory of Nyssa before leaving in 381 for Rome.

In Rome St. Jerome continued his study of the Scriptures, but became resented for his denunciation of the lax morals of the city's Orthodox faithful. Consequently the Saint left the imperial city for the Holy Land, where he settled in a cave in Bethlehem near the place of the Lord's birth and entered more deeply into the ascetic life. Troubled in his last years by the Goths' sack of Rome and the depredations of Arab tribes, St. Jerome reposed around the year 420. His relics were later translated from Bethlehem to Rome.

St. Jerome is remembered for his prolific commentaries on the Scriptures and writings on the Faith, asceticism, and history. Perhaps his most lasting legacy, however, was his translation of the Bible into the Latin, with his version, the Vulgate, becoming the standard text used throughout the Church in the West. More on the Saint's life can be found here. May his blessing and prayers be with us all!

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