St. Jerome (Feast Day: September 30)


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St. Jerome, was the most learned of the Fathers of the Western Church. He is the Patron Saint of archaeologists, Biblical scholars, librarians, students and translators. He was born about the year 342 near the episcopal city of Aquileia.

His father, a Christian, took care that his son was well instructed at home, then sent him to Rome, where the young man’s teachers were the famous pagan grammarian Donatus and Victorinus, a Christian rhetorician.

St. Jerome became fluent in Latin and Greek, and read the literature in Latin and Greek with great pleasure. His aptitude for oratory was such that he may have considered law as a career. He acquired many worldly ideas, made little effort to check his pleasure-loving instincts, and lost much of the piety that had been instilled in him at home. Yet in spite of the pagan and hedonistic influences around him, St. Jerome was baptized by Pope Liberius in 360.

St. Jerome was a hard worker and he wrote extensively defending the virginity of Mary, which some clerics dared to question. He also engaged in several debates against various other heresies including a lengthy battle with his old friend Rufinus.

Of all the things that made Jerome famous, nothing was so legendary as his translation of the Bible. St. Jerome began work while he was still in Rome under Pope Damasus. He spent his entire life translating the scriptures from Hebrew and Old Latin.

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