Catholic Culture Overview
Catholic Culture Overview
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Ordinary Time: September 30th

St. Jerome, priest and doctor

Other Commemorations: St. Francis Borgia, Priest (RM)

MASS READINGS

September 30, 2005 (Readings on USCCB website)

COLLECT PRAYER

Father, you gave Saint Jerome delight in his study of holy Scripture. May your people find in your word the food of salvation and the fountain of life. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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Born in Dalmatia of a Christian, Jerome (345-420) was baptized in Rome, while taking his classical courses. He then studied under the best masters in foreign cities. But the Church had need of this extraordinarily gifted man. Jerome heard and obeyed the divine call, made a vow of celibacy, and withdrew for four years to a hermitage in the Syrian desert. The Holy Father soon summoned Jerome to Rome and entrusted him with the enormous task of revising the Latin Bible. This work, which took 30 years to complete, is the Vulgate version of the Scriptures. He also wrote many other works, mostly commentaries on the books of the Bible.


St. Jerome
One of the greatest Biblical scholars of Christendom, Saint Jerome was born of Christian parents at Stridon in Dalmatia around the year 345. Educated at the local school, he then studied rhetoric in Rome for eight years, before returning to Aquilea to set up a community of ascetics. When that community broke up after three years Jerome went to the east. He met an old hermit named Malchus, who inspired the saint to live in a bare cell, dressed in sackcloth, studying the Scriptures.

He learned Hebrew from a rabbi. Then he returned to Antioch and was reluctantly ordained priest. With his bishop he visited Constantinople and became friendly with Saints Gregory Nazianzen and Gregory of Nyssa. And then in 382 he went again to Rome, to become the personal secretary of Pope Damasus. Here he met his dearest friends, a wealthy woman called Paula, her daughter Eustochium and another wealthy woman named Marcella.

Here too he began his finest work. Commissioned by the pope, he began to revise the Latin version of the psalms and the New Testament, with immense care and scholarship. Jerome eventually translated the whole of the Bible into the Latin version which is known as the Vulgate. But when Damasus died, his enemies forced the saint to leave Rome.

Accompanied by Paula and Eustochium, Jerome went to Bethlehem. There he lived for thirty-four years till his death in 420, building a monastery over which he presided and a convent headed first by Paula and after her death by Eustochium. The saint set up a hospice for the countless pilgrims to that place. His scholarship, his polemics, his treatises and letters often provoked anger and always stimulated those who read them. 'Plato located the soul of man in the head,' he wrote, 'Christ located it in the heart.'
—Excerpted from A Calendar of Saints by James Bentley

Patronage: Archeologists; archivists; Bible scholars; librarians; libraries; schoolchildren; students; translators.

Symbols and Representaiton: cardinal‘s hat, often on the ground or behind him, indicating that he turned his back on the pomp of ecclesiastical life; lion, referring to the who befriended him after he pulled a thorn from the creature’s paw; man beating himself in the chest with a stone; aged monk in desert; aged monk with Bible; aged monk writing; old man with a lion; skull; hourglass

Highlights and Things to Do:


St. Francis Borgia
Francis Borgia, viscount of Catalonia and third general of the Jesuits, was born in 1510. On his father's side he was a great-grandchild of Pope Alexander VI; on his mother's side he was the great-grandchild of a son of Ferdinand the Catholic. His holy life atoned for the sins of his ancestors.

As viscount and duke at the palace of Emperor Charles V, Francis stood in high honor. The sudden death of the beautiful Empress Isabella (May 1, 1539) and the sight of her disfigured face as her body was taken to Granada made him resolve to leave the world and serve the King of kings alone.

After the death of his wife (1546), he entered the Society of Jesus with the holy resolve of leading a hidden life and of closing the door forever to all earthly honors. His example of humility exercised an influence upon Charles V when he considered renouncing the throne. Devoted to labor and severe mortification, Francis held himself in such little esteem that he called himself the "poor sinner." In 1565 he became General of the Order. He died at Rome.
—Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch

Patronage: Against earthquakes; Portugal; Rota; Marianas.

Symbols and Representation: Skull crowned with an emperor's diadem.

Highlights and Things to Do: