September 30, 2011

St. Jerome, Doctor of the Church

I truly could not resist writing a little about St. Jerome whose full name was Eusebius Hieronymous (Heirom hence Jerome) Sophronius. Something great is bound to come from a name like that. And truly something did!  Or many somethings.

 Here he is translating the Bible... the whole thing... into the Latin Vulgate, from which my beloved Duoay Rhiems Bible is translated from.  I know, I know... somewhat archaeic in lingo but that's alright by-eth me, because it behooves me to admit-eth that most of the prayers I doth say-eth art archaeic-ish. (*giggle*)
 That's not Androcles but St. Jerome and since lions seem prone to thorns in their paws, here St. Jerome is removing a thorn.  The thorn of course representing sin, like the Crown of Thorns.  The removal of course being to banish the beast so to speak.  Perhaps this is all allegorical but it's a sweet story just the same.
 The lion was rather grateful for this merciful act and took up residence in the monastery where St. Jerome resided.  Here the lion even had his own duties, one which was to tend to the donkey and guard him.  One evening while he slept some dishonest merchants came and stole the donkey.  The monks of course decided that the lion had eaten the donkey (and had never thought about the fact that he had never eaten a pudgy tastey monk...).  The lion's punishment was then to take up the duties of a donkey.  Imagine a great lion taking up the duties of the servant donkey.  Christ-like.  When the lion saw the return of the merchant caravan with the donkey he roared to alert the monks.  And they retrieved their lost donkey. Read more here about this legend.

 What a thrill it would have been to stand between these 2 great men, St. Jerome and St. Augustine! *swoon*  I plan to do that in Heaven.  I love the stories of the saint who knew saints.

St. Jerome was a passionate man, wild and tempermental in his day.  He spent much time in the wilderness doing penance and died at a ripe old age.  He was initially buried at the Church of the Nativity but was transferred to the Sistine Chapel.  There is a ton of interesting facts here  

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