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Shepherd of Hermas

The Shepherd of Hermas is considered a very valuable book by many Christians, even some church fathers like Saint Irenaeus, considered it a revealed book, which should be part of the Holy Scriptures.

The Shepherd records five visions experienced by Hermas. In the fifth vision, the angel of repentance appeared dressed as a shepherd. It explains the name of the book (Sheperd of Hermas). The work contains 12 commandments and 10 parables. The basic theme is that post-baptismal sin can be forgiven at least once and that a day of repentance is coming, after which sins cannot be forgiven. Concerned with morals rather than theology, the work is a valuable indication of a type of Jewish Christianity, still adhering to the Law of Moses.

In the first four Visions, Hermas sees the Church as an elderly matron who grows progressively younger as Hermas carries out her orders. She bids him and his family repent, sends him to the Church authorities with a call to repentance and a warning of imminent persecution; and she shows him a vision of a tower, representing the Church, in process of being built. The different stones used in the building typify varieties of Christians, and stones rejected by the builders may ultimately be used, if they repent now, before the tower is finished.

With fraternal affection,

Fr. Homero C.

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