Feast of St Jerome
Today we celebrate the feast of St Jerome who was the first person to translate the bible into the language of the ordinary people, which at that time happened to be Latin. Jerome knew something very important and he wrote it in his prologue to the book of Isaiah:
“Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God….ignorance of the scriptures is ignorance of Christ.”
Jerome knew that the ordinary people, who were not experts in Greek or Hebrew, would need a version of scriptures that was accessible to all. He was born in AD342 and went to the East, probably what is now Istanbul, where he became a priest. He returned to Rome, acted as secretary to Pope Saint Damasus before settling in Bethlehem in the Holy Land, where he did most of his work of translation.
Jerome led a life of penance and was a strong promoter of the monastic style of life. He was an extremely busy man, writing many books and teaching. The readings the church pick for today’s feast are about holding on to orthodox teaching and believing exactly what we were taught:
“All teaching is inspired by God and can be usefully used for teaching,” says the reading from Timothy.
These words are something St Jerome, priest and doctor of the Church, would certainly have agreed with.