Saint Jerome’s Church Mapusa, Goa – India
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. Gegory 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 pagan city in disgust, these holy women followed him to Bethlehem. Here, besides governing a monastery and a school, he completed his profilic and monumental writing, especially the translation of the Bible. The books of Wisdom, Esslesiasticus, 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 with the great Council of Trent 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 severe 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.