St. Jerome

(Sophronius Eusebius Hieronymus)


St. Jerome
Saint Jerome is most well known for his translation of the Hebrew and Greek Bibles into Latin. His completed work, known as the Vulgate is still today the official version of the Bible of the Roman Catholic Church. He was born on the Balkan Peninsula to Christian parents. He studied in Rome, but returned to the east and in 374 A.D. experienced a vision, which caused him to flee to the desert and live as a monk. During this time he learned Hebrew, already being fluent in Greek and Latin. After his ordination in 379 he worked for Pope Damasus I as a secretary, and it was in this position that the Pope suggested that he translate the existing scriptures to Latin. After the death of Damasus he retired to a monastery in Bethlehem, and there he completed his great work. He was a prolific writer who also wrote commentaries, homilies, and theological works, and debated other theologians of his time, including Saint Augustine. He is often associate with St. Paula, an early nun, who befriended him and supported his work at the monastery in Bethlehem.

Key events during the life of Jerome:

Experienced a vision which called him to the monastic life.
  Mastered Hebrew language.
Ordained as a priest. Accompanied Gregory to Rome and worked for Pope Damasus I.
At the insistence of Pope Damasus, began work on new testament translation.
Death of Damasus I.
Traveled to the Holy lands with St. Paula and Eustochium.
Returned to Palestine after years of travel.
Began work on translation of Old Testament.
Completed translation of Old Testament.
  Wrote extensive commentaries and exchanged letters with other contemporary theologians.
Died in Bethlehem.

Other Resources

Story Links
Book Links
Jerome and the Lion  in  Old Time Tales  by  Lawton B. Evans
Monasticism in the West  in  The Early Church, from Ignatius to Augustine  by  George Hodges
Jerome, 340-420  in  Saints and Heroes to the End of the Middle Ages  by  George Hodges
Saint with the Lion  in  The Book of Saints and Heroes  by  Mrs. Lang

Image Links

St. Jerome
 in Saints and Heroes to the End of the Middle Ages

The lion refuses to depart.
 in The Book of Saints and Heroes

Short Biography
St. Paula Wealthy Roman matron who befriended Jerome, and gave her money to the church.
Augustine of Hippo Greatest Christian theologian of the Middle Ages. Wrote Confessions and City of God.
Damasus I Pope who encouraged Jerome to translate the Bible to Latin.
Rufinus Monk and historian. Friend of Jerome. He translated Origen's works into Latin.
St. Gregory Nazianzen Teacher and associate of Jerome.