Feast Day is September 30
Jerome was born in the country we now call Croatia. He was tutored at home and developed a love for education. When he was about twelve, his parents sent him to Rome to study both Greek and Latin.
When he was eighteen, Jerome was baptized in Rome. He then studied with some of the great Scripture scholars of his time. Jerome felt that God was calling him to use his education to serve the Church.
Jerome was ordained a priest and given permission to devote his life to study and writing rather than ministering to the people of a parish. He needed quiet for his studies so he moved to the wilderness to live a life of silence and simplicity. In the wilderness, he began to study Hebrew, to copy books by hand, and to write letters defending and explaining the faith. Each of these tasks prepared Jerome for the great work he was yet to do.
Pope Damasus called Jerome to Rome to be the papal secretary. In addition to those duties, Damasus asked Jerome to translate the Gospels from Greek into Latin, the language of the Church. Jeromeís translation of the Gospels was more accurate than any other version available at the time.
After Damasus died, Jerome traveled and eventually settled in Bethlehem where he became the spiritual director at a monastery. His duties allowed him the freedom and silence he needed to translate most of the Old Testament into from Hebrew, which he had learned in the wilderness, into Latin.
Jeromeís translation of the Old and New Testament is called the Vulgate, or common version, of the Bible. We honor St. Jerome contribution to the Church on September 30. His work made it possible for Catholics to understand and to respond to Godís Word.
Saint of the Day, Lives, Lessons and Feast By Leonard Foley, O.F.M.; revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.