Saturday, March 25, 2006
Jerome was a Roman Catholic who was born in Dalmatia. His father taught him his religion well, but sent him to a famous pagan school where Jerome grew to love pagan writings and lost some of his love for God. He became great friends with a group of holy Christians, and his heart was turned completely to God.
Later, this brilliant young man decided to live alone in a wild desert. He was afraid that his love for pagan writings would lead him away from the love of God. He welcomed the hard penance and the burning hot desert.
Even there, he suffered terrible temptations. Jerome did not give in. Instead he increased his acts of penance and wept for his sins. He also went to study Hebrew with a monk as his teacher. He did this to get rid of the bad thoughts that kept attacking his mind. He became such a great scholar of Hebrew that he could later translate the Bible into Latin. Many more people were then able to read, learn and enjoy it.
Jerome spent long years of his life in a little cave at Bethlehem, where Jesus had been born. There he prayed, studied the Bible, and taught many people how to serve God. He wrote many letters and even books to protect the faith from non-believers.
Saint Jerome had a bad temper, and because of his sharp tongue he made many enemies yet he was a very holy man who spent his life trying to serve Jesus in the best way he could. So despite his temper, he became a great Saint. He died in 420. His feast day is celebrated on September 30th.
O God, You gave St. Jerome a great love for Holy Scripture. Let Your people feed more abundantly on Your word and find in it the source of life. Amen.