Saint Jerome




Saint Jerome (374 - 420) Father and doctor of the Church especially remembered as the author of the Vulgate, a famous Latin translation of the Holy Scriptures destined to have a very wide diffusion even beyond the Middle Ages.


Belonging to a wealthy family, Jerome studied in Rome, where he became passionate about classical culture. Possibly around 366 he was baptized by Pope Liberius. In the following years, Saint Jerome made numerous trips to Europe and was deeply attracted to the monastic life. Around the year 373 he decided to go to the East and spent some time in Antioch. It was then that, after a spiritual crisis, he vowed never to read or possess pagan literature again.


When Jerome returned to Rome, Pope Damasus appointed him confidential secretary and librarian and asked him to begin his work of translating the Bible into Latin. In 386, Jerome settled in Bethlehem in a monastery established for him by Paula, a wealthy Roman woman, who was part of a group that Jerome advised spiritually. There he began his most productive literary period, and there he remained for 34 years, until his death. From this period come the main biblical commentaries on him.


The writings of Jerome express a scholarship unsurpassed in the early church and helped to create the cultural tradition of the Middle Ages. His greatest gifts were in scholarship, and he is a true founder of scientific biblical exegesis in the West.


With fraternal affection,


Fr. Homero C