Confessor, Doctor of the Church ) (c.341-420)
Sophronius Eusebius Hieronymus_ the full form of the name Jerome_ was born in Dalmatia (Yugoslavia), studied in Rome, and then travelled for years in a passionate search for knowledge: first to Treves (where St. Athanasius had, some 30 years before, induced numerous men to follow the example of the Egyptian desert hermits, and the whole region was developing into a centre of Christian asceticism) for theology. Thence to Antioch, where he studied Greek and Holy Scripture; but, being warned by our Lord in a vision that he was "more of a Ciernonian than a Christian", he withdrew for five years in the desert, practiced penance, and studied Hebrew.
At the age of 39, in 380, he was ordained priest, spent a year in Constantinople imbibing the teaching of the great St Gregory Nazianzen, then went on to Rome, where he served the Pope for five years as secretary, revised the Bible, opened a library, and guided a group of pious Roman women in the study of the Scriptures. Among the latter were St. Paula and her daughter St. Eustochium, and when, after Pope St. Damasus' death, the ease-loving Roman clergy whom the outspoken Jerome had bitterly criticized, caused him to leave the half pagan city in disgust, these holy women followed him to Bethlehem. Here, besides governing a monastery and a school, he completed his prolific and monumental writings, especially the translation of the Bible. The books of Wisdom, Ecclestasticus, Baruch and the Maccabees were left untouched by him in the "Old Latin" version which Pope St. Damasus had prepared in 382; the New Testament also was merely revised. But the remaining books of the Old Testament were newly translated by him directly from the Hebrew and Aramaic. This great task was completed in 404 after some 18 years of labour, and it was this easily-read "Vulgate" (meaning: commonly used) translation which the great Council of Trend defined as the Church's authoritative one. St. Jerome used to conduct his controversies with great fierceness,. But readily acknowledged his shortcomings; to the very end, he submitted his body to server fasts and vigils. Therein lay the very basis of his sainthood.
"The reading of Holy Scriptures should follow upon prayer, and prayer in turn should follow reading". "Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ!" he would say.
St. Jerome died on 30 September 420. He is venerated as the Patron Saint of Librarians.
Reflection :"Always be doing something, so that whether God or the devil comes to you, you may be found with your hands full"(St. Jerome).