St Jerome, Doctor

Zechariah 2.5-9, 14-15; Jeremiah 31; Luke 9.43-45

Jerome (Hieronymus) (c342-420) was born in Strido (now in Croatia, then part of the Roman province of Dalmatia) and studied in Rome. As a student he lived the life of sexual escapades and experimentation common at the time, but, convulsed with guilt, he began visiting the tombs of the Christian martyrs, and, entering their crypts, he felt he had experienced the terrors of hell. He was baptised in Rome, and having decided to devote himself to a life of ascetic penitence he retired to Syria to live as a hermit, where he also learnt Hebrew under the tutelage of a converted rabbi. He was ordained in 378 or 379 at Antioch. He returned to Rome and worked on a revision of the Latin translation of the New Testament.

In 385 he left Rome for Antioch, and by 388 he had established himself in a cave in Bethlehem, where he spent the next thirty-odd years translating the Old Testament out of Hebrew into Latin and writing many commentaries on scripture, the second most voluminous writer (after Augustine of Hippo) in Latin Christianity.

Posted in Daily Reflection.