September 30:Jerome; Priest, and Monk of Bethlehem, 420
September 30, 2010 8 Comments
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About this commemoration
Jerome was the foremost biblical scholar of the ancient Church. His Latin translation of the Bible from the original Hebrew and Greek texts known as the Vulgate version, along with his commentaries and homilies on the biblical books, have made him a major intellectual force in the Western Church.
Jerome was born in the north Italian town of Stridon about 347, and was converted and baptized during his student days in Rome. On a visit to Trier, he found himself attracted to the monastic life, which he tested in a brief but unhappy experience as a hermit in the desert of Syria. At Antioch in 378, he reluctantly allowed himself to be ordained a presbyter, and there continued his studies in Hebrew and Greek. The following year he was in Constantinople as a student of Gregory of Nazianzus. From 382 to 384 he was secretary to Pope Damasus I in Rome, and spiritual director of many noble Roman ladies who were becoming interested in the monastic life. It was Damasus who set him to the task of making a new translation of the Bible into Latin—the vulgar tongue, as distinguished from the classical Greek. Hence the name of his translation, the Vulgate.
After the Pope’s death, Jerome returned to the East, and established a monastery at Bethlehem, where he lived and worked until his death on September 30, 420. He was buried in a chapel beneath the Church of the Nativity, near the traditional place of our Lord’s birth.
Jerome’s irascible disposition, pride of learning, and extravagant promotion of asceticism involved him in many bitter controversies over both theological and exegetical questions. Yet he was candid at times in admitting his failings, and was never ambitious for churchly honors. A militant champion of orthodoxy, an indefatigable worker, and a stylist of rare gifts, Jerome was seldom pleasant, but at least he was never dull.
O Lord, thou God of truth, thy Word is a lantern to our feet and a light upon our path: We give thee thanks for thy servant Jerome, and those who, following in his steps, have labored to render the Holy Scriptures in the language of the people; and we beseech thee that thy Holy Spirit may overshadow us as we read the written Word, and that Christ, the living Word, may transform us according to thy righteous will; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
O Lord, O God of truth, your Word is a lantern to our feet and a light upon our path: We give you thanks for your servant Jerome, and those who, following in his steps, have labored to render the Holy Scriptures in the language of the people; and we pray that your Holy Spirit will overshadow us as we read the written Word, and that Christ, the living Word, will transform us according to your righteous will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
2 Timothy 3:14–17
Preface of Pentecost
Text From Holy, Women, Holy Men: Celebrating the Saints © 2010 by The Church Pension Fund. Used by permission.
We invite your reflections about this commemoration and its suitability for the official calendar and worship of The Episcopal Church. How did this person’s life witness to the Gospel? How does this person inspire us in Christian life today?
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