“I know not Vitalis, I reject Meletius, I pass by Paulinus; he that cleaveth to the Chair of Peter, he is mine.” Thus, about the year 376, when the whole East was disturbed by the competitions for the episcopal See of Antioch, wrote an unknown monk to Pope St. Damasus. It was St. Jerome, a native of Dalmatia, who implored “light for his soul redeemed by the Blood of our Lord.”
Far from Stridonium, his semi-barbarous native place, whose austerity and vigor he never lost; far from Rome, where the study of literature and philosophy had not had sufficient ascendency to withhold him from the seductions of pleasure—the fear of God’s judgments had led him into the desert of Chalcia. There, under a burning sky, in the company of wild beasts, he for four years tormented his body with fearful macerations; and then, as a yet more efficacious remedy, and certainly a more meritorious mortification for one passionately fond of classical beauties, he sacrificed his ciceronian tastes to the study of the Hebrew language. Such an undertaking was far more laborious then than in our days of lexicons and grammars and scientific works of every description. Many a time was Jerome discouraged and almost in despair. But he had learned the truth of the maxim he afterwards inculcated to others: “Love the science of the Scriptures, and you will not love the vices of the flesh.” So he took up his Hebrew alphabet again, and continued to spell those hissing and panting syllables until he had so mastered them as even to spoil his pronunciation of Latin. For the rest of his life, all the energy of his spirited nature was spent upon this labor.
God - Amply - Homage - Word - Jerome
God amply repaid the homage thus rendered to his sacred word: Jerome hoped to obtain by his...
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