Journey with the saints
Saint of the Week: St. Jerome, October 3
What Jerome is ignorant of, no man has ever known. “- Saint Augustine of Hippo.
I often tell my non-Catholic Friends and Brethren- “The Bible that you hold in your hands….that you twist with such liberties…. to conform to your private interpretations and opinions….thank The Holy Catholic Church for it!”
But we may also well say….’Thank St. Jerome for it!’ who was certainly with no doubt, a Catholic.
He retired to the solitude of The Wilderness for well over 30 years to translate The Sacred Scriptures from very early manuscripts now lost to us – into Latin which became known as the Vulgate.
(If you’ve read any writings of my Saint, St. Josemaría Escrivá you will note that while he wrote in Spanish he ALWAYS quoted The Vulgate-)
We often speak about some of the ‘weird’ or strange things that happened in the lives of some saints.
These are ‘signs and wonders.’
St. Jerome had a pet lion!
He removed a thorn pierced deep in the lion’s paw…..and the lion became his companion for years…..
If I lived in the desert alone with no cell phone and no 911 I’d love a lion for a ‘guard dog’ too!
But whether or not the legend is true…what IS TRUE is that with God’s grace he was able to tame the beast inside him: his fleshly passions and his great temper.
Such comforting thoughts for a poor soul like me who has a LONG way to go in becoming a SAINT.
The Word of God said ‘For this is the will of God, even your sanctification.’ I Thess.4:3 and
“And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly, and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.” I Thess.5:23-24
Here are just a few quotes from St. Jerome:
- He fought bravely with tears and fastings…to remain pure and chaste
“In the remotest part of a wild and stony desert, burnt up with the heat of the scorching sun so that it frightens even the monks that inhabit it, I seemed to myself to be in the midst of the delights and crowds of Rome. In exile and prison to which for the fear of hell I had voluntarily condemned myself, I many times imagined myself witnessing the dancing of the Roman maidens as if I had been in the midst of them: in my cold body and in my parched-up flesh, which seemed dead before its death, passion able to live. Alone with this enemy, I threw myself in spirit at the feet of Jesus, watering them with my tears, and I tamed my flesh by fasting whole weeks. I am not ashamed to disclose my temptations, but I grieve that I am not now what I then was.” Saint Jerome’s letter to Saint Eustochium
The necessity of MORTIFICATIONS and Self Denial to advance in PERFECTION
“The measure of our advancement in the spiritual life should be taken from the progress we make in the virtue of mortification; for it should be held as certain that the greater violence we shall do ourselves in mortification, the greater advance we shall make in perfection. “- Saint Jerome
That The Saints intercede for us from HEAVEN- Rebuking a heretics who claimed they do not.
“You say in your book that while we live, we are able to pray for each other, but afterwards when we have died, the prayer of no person for another can be heard. But if the apostles and martyrs while still in the body can pray for others, at a time when they ought still be solicitous about themselves, how much more will they do so after their crowns, victories, and triumphs?” – Saint Jerome from Against Vigilantius, 406
Through the intercession of St. Jerome: may The Lord help us today to LOVE Scripture, to be faithful to The Holy Catholic Faith and to mortify ourselves as he did, that we too might progress in Charity and become Saints.
Let us pray.
Almighty, ever-living God, You endowed Saint Jerome with a deep reverence for Holy Scripture, which he loved with all his heart. Sustain us evermore with Your word and help us to find in it the source of life.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, One God, forever and ever. Amen.