Saints Saint Jerome

Saint Jerome was born in the mid-fourth century (347 A.D.) in Stridon, a small town at the edge of the Roman province of Dalmatia (modern-day Croatia or Slovenia). He was born into a Christian family and was well-educated, studying grammar, rhetoric, and philosophy in Rome under the renowned grammarian Donatus. Today, he is remembered by the Catholic Church as the Patron Saint of archaeologists, archivists, Bible scholars, librarians, school children, students and translators.

During his studies, Jerome became fascinated with the classical texts of Greece and Rome. Yet, amidst the pursuits of secular knowledge, he felt a deep spiritual calling. As such, he started to study theology and was baptized around the age of 18 by Pope Liberius.

Saint Jerome is a Doctor of the Church

In his quest for deeper spiritual understanding, Jerome journeyed through Syria, Palestine, and Egypt, places teeming with Christian monasticism. Influenced by this rigorous spiritual lifestyle, he lived as a hermit in the Syrian desert near Chalcis for several years around 375 A.D. During this time, he learned Hebrew from a Judaic monk, an experience that laid the groundwork for his later monumental work of translating the Bible.

Jerome was ordained a priest in Antioch, and while he did not engage actively in pastoral duties, his ordination was a testament to his growing prominence in ecclesiastical circles.

In 382 A.D., Jerome arrived in Rome and became the secretary to Pope Damasus I. It was during this time that Pope Damasus commissioned him with a task that would define Jerome's life and legacy - the translation of the Bible into Latin. At that time, Old Latin versions of the scriptures were prevalent, but they were inconsistent and inadequate.

After the death of Pope Damasus in 384 A.D., Jerome, having faced criticism for his close relationships with holy women in Rome, moved to Bethlehem. There, he established a monastery and a convent, where he spent the remaining 34 years of his life translating and writing.

His completed translation of the Bible, known as the Vulgate, took over two decades. The Vulgate was unique for its unprecedented accuracy and clarity in rendering the scriptures into Latin, including the Old Testament directly from Hebrew rather than the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament.


Jerome's greatest legacy is the Vulgate, which became the standard version of the Bible in the Western Church for centuries. He was also a prolific writer, and his letters, treatises, and commentaries provide a profound insight into the early Christian Church and its theology.

Known for his ascetic lifestyle, Jerome became a model of scholarship, rigorous devotion, and penance. His profound contributions to Christianity, marked by his erudition and passion for the scriptures, led to his recognition as a Doctor of the Church.

Saint Jerome died on September 30, 420 A.D., in Bethlehem. His feast day is celebrated on September 30 in the Western Church, commemorating the life and works of this illustrious saint whose writings continue to inspire and educate the faithful.

Through his life, Saint Jerome exemplified a deep commitment to the Word of God, a commitment mirrored in his famous saying, "Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ."

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