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St. Jerome, Priest and Doctor

St. Jerome is best known for translating the Bible into Latin, a version known as the Vulgate. Born in 347 AD, he was a scholar, translator, and ascetic. Jerome’s work on the Vulgate remains a cornerstone in Biblical studies and the Catholic Church. He was a stickler for authenticity and traveled extensively to ensure his translations were accurate.

Despite his scholarly pursuits, Jerome was also deeply committed to a life of asceticism. He lived as a hermit in the Syrian desert for several years, fasting and studying Hebrew and Greek. This lifestyle informed his religious writings, which often advocated for a simple and disciplined life.

Jerome was a prolific writer beyond his translation work. His commentaries on the Bible are extensive, and he corresponded with many of the leading intellectuals of his time. His letters are filled with theological insights, practical advice, and, occasionally, biting wit.

He was canonized by the Catholic Church and his feast day is celebrated on September 30th. He is the patron saint of librarians, scholars, and students, an apt choice given his lifelong dedication to study and education.

St. Jerome’s legacy extends from his scholarly contributions to his moral teachings. He was a complex character, dedicated to both intellectual rigor and spiritual discipline. His work continues to influence theology and biblical studies today.

Patron Saint of …

He is the patron saint of archaeologists, Bible scholars, librarians, school children, and translators.

Daily Mass Readings for the Memorial of Saint Jerome, Priest and Doctor of the Church

Readings for the Memorial may also be taken from may also be taken from the weekday readings for Mass, the Common of Doctors of the Church, or the Common of Pastors.

  • First Reading2 Timothy 3:14-17: Stick to your beliefs and the Scriptures you’ve known since childhood. They make you wise for salvation and prepare you for good works, as they’re divinely inspired and useful for teaching and correction.
  • Responsorial PsalmPsalm 119: I aim to follow your words to live blamelessly. Your commands guide me, your promise is my safeguard against sin. I find joy in your decrees as much as in riches.
  • Gospel Matthew 13:47-52: The Kingdom of heaven gathers all kinds, but at the end, angels will separate the good from the bad. Those who understand this are like wise heads of households.

Homilies and Reflections

Word On Fire: St. Jerome and Fighting for Brotherhood

St. Jerome, a 4th-century Christian scholar, was known for his combative writing style, challenging anyone who strayed from Church teachings. He was motivated by a deep sense of brotherhood, a concept he interpreted through the Christian virtues of chastity, poverty, and obedience. For Jerome, brotherhood was chaste because it was rooted in undivided love for God, it was poor in the sense that it required self-sacrifice for others, and it was obedient in its dedication to unity and truth. His writings, often confronting but aimed at drawing others closer to Christ, emphasized the significance of genuine brotherly love. Jerome’s approach to friendship and unity provides an example of how authentic relationships can be fostered, even among those with differing views.

Devotion to Sacred Scripture

Pope Francis’ apostolic letter “Scripturae Sacrae Affectus” commemorates the 1600th anniversary of the death of St. Jerome. The letter praises St. Jerome’s scholarly contributions, specifically his Latin translation of the Bible known as the Vulgate, while emphasizing the saint’s deep love for the Scripture. It calls for a renewed focus on Biblical studies and highlights the importance of the Bible in shaping ethical and social frameworks. The Pope urges the Christian community to emulate St. Jerome’s passion for scripture as a way to deepen faith and commitment.

Quotes from St. Jerome

"Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ." - a quote from St. Jerome

Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.

Frequently Asked Questions

What date Is the Feast of Saint Jerome?

It is observed annually on September 30.

What are the Mass readings for the Memorial of Saint Jerome, Priest and Doctor of the Church?

Readings for the Memorial may also be taken from may also be taken from the weekday readings for Mass, the Common of Doctors of the Church, or the Common of Pastors.
First Reading – 2 Timothy 3:14-17: Value of Scripture
Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 119: Seeking Righteousness
Gospel – Matthew 13:47-52: Kingdom’s Final Sort
See the readings section of this page for a longer summary of these readings for the memorial and links to the readings.

Who was St. Jerome?

St. Jerome was born in 347 A.D. He became a Christian in his late teens.He is best known for translating the Bible into Latin. His translation is called the Vulgate. He is considered a Doctor of the Church for his efforts in spreading the Word of God.

Who is St. Jerome the patron saint of?

He is the patron saint of archaeologists, Bible scholars, librarians, school children, and translators.

What is the Vulgate?

The Vulgate is the Latin version of the Bible translated by St. Jerome. It was the standard Bible used in the Western Church for many centuries and remains an important text in Catholicism.

Where was St. Jerome born?

He was born in Stridon, a town on the border of Dalmatia and Pannonia. This area is part of modern-day Croatia or Slovenia.

What was St. Jerome’s early life like?

He was well-educated, studying Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. He was baptized at 18 and began a life dedicated to Christianity, initially as a lawyer and later abandoning secular work to focus on religious studies.

Why did St. Jerome live in a desert?

He lived as a hermit in the Syrian desert for years. He wanted to focus on spiritual growth, so he adopted an ascetic lifestyle, fasting, and studying religious texts.

What other works did St. Jerome write?

Aside from the Vulgate, he wrote biblical commentaries, letters, and theological treatises. His writings touch on a variety of topics from doctrine to morality.

What is St. Jerome’s significance today?

His works continue to be studied for their scholarly and theological contributions. His dedication to both intellectual and spiritual pursuits makes him a significant figure in Christian history.

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