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  2. St. Jerome Catholic School
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Jerome's letters vividly chronicle the temptations and trials he endured during several years as a desert hermit. Nevertheless, after his ordination by the bishop of Antioch, followed by periods of study in Constantinople and service at Rome to Pope Damasus I, Jerome opted permanently for a solitary and ascetic life in the city of Bethlehem from the mids.

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Jerome remained engaged both as an arbitrator and disputant of controversies in the Church, and served as a spiritual father to a group of nuns who had become his disciples in Rome. Rejecting pagan literature as a distraction, Jerome undertook to learn Hebrew from a Christian monk who had converted from Judaism. Somewhat unusually for a fourth-century Christian priest, he also studied with Jewish rabbis, striving to maintain the connection between Hebrew language and culture, and the emerging world of Greek and Latin-speaking Christianity.

He became a secretary of Pope Damasus, who commissioned the Vulgate from him. Prepared by these ventures, Jerome spent 15 years translating most of the Hebrew Bible into its authoritative Latin version. His harsh temperament and biting criticisms of his intellectual opponents made him many enemies in the Church and in Rome and he was forced to leave the city.

Jerome went to Bethlehem, established a monastery, and lived the rest of his years in study, prayer, and ascetcism. Jerome once said, "I interpret as I should, following the command of Christ: 'Search the Scriptures,' and 'Seek and you shall find. His patristic commentaries align closely with Jewish tradition, and he indulges in allegorical and mystical subtleties after the manner of Philo and the Alexandrian school. Unlike his contemporaries, he emphasizes the difference between the Hebrew Bible "apocrypha" and the Hebraica veritas of the protocanonical books. In his Vulgate's prologues , he describes some portions of books in the Septuagint that were not found in the Hebrew as being non- canonical he called them apocrypha ; [27] for Baruch , he mentions by name in his Prologue to Jeremiah and notes that it is neither read nor held among the Hebrews, but does not explicitly call it apocryphal or "not in the canon".

This preface to the Scriptures may serve as a "helmeted" introduction to all the books which we turn from Hebrew into Latin, so that we may be assured that what is not found in our list must be placed amongst the Apocryphal writings. Wisdom , therefore, which generally bears the name of Solomon, and the book of Jesus, the Son of Sirach , and Judith, and Tobias, and the Shepherd are not in the canon.

The first book of Maccabees I have found to be Hebrew, the second is Greek, as can be proved from the very style. Although Jerome was once suspicious of the apocrypha, it is said that he later viewed them as Scripture. For example, in Jerome's letter to Eustochium he quotes Sirach , [30] elsewhere Jerome also refers to Baruch, the Story of Susannah and Wisdom as scripture.

Jerome is also known as a historian. One of his earliest historical works was his Chronicle or Chronicon or Temporum liber , composed c.

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Despite numerous errors taken over from Eusebius, and some of his own, Jerome produced a valuable work, if only for the impulse which it gave to such later chroniclers as Prosper , Cassiodorus , and Victor of Tunnuna to continue his annals. Of considerable importance as well is the De viris illustribus , which was written at Bethlehem in , the title and arrangement of which are borrowed from Suetonius.

It contains short biographical and literary notes on Christian authors, from Saint Peter down to Jerome himself. For the first seventy-eight authors Eusebius Historia ecclesiastica is the main source; in the second section, beginning with Arnobius and Lactantius , he includes a good deal of independent information, especially as to western writers.

The so-called Martyrologium Hieronymianum is spurious; it was apparently composed by a western monk toward the end of the 6th or beginning of the 7th century, with reference to an expression of Jerome's in the opening chapter of the Vita Malchi, where he speaks of intending to write a history of the saints and martyrs from the apostolic times.

The following passage, taken from Saint Jerome's "Life of St. Hilarion", which was written about A. But finding that his eyes were growing dim, and that his whole body was shrivelled with an eruption and a sort of stony roughness impetigine et pumicea quad scabredine he added oil to his former food, and up to the sixty-third year of his life followed this temperate course, tasting neither fruit nor pulse, nor anything whatsoever besides.

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Jerome's letters or epistles , both by the great variety of their subjects and by their qualities of style, form an important portion of his literary remains. Whether he is discussing problems of scholarship, or reasoning on cases of conscience, comforting the afflicted, or saying pleasant things to his friends, scourging the vices and corruptions of the time and against sexual immorality among the clergy, [35] exhorting to the ascetic life and renunciation of the world , or breaking a lance with his theological opponents, he gives a vivid picture not only of his own mind, but of the age and its peculiar characteristics.

Because there was no distinct line between personal documents and those meant for publication, we frequently find in his letters both confidential messages and treatises meant for others besides the one to whom he was writing. Due to the time he spent in Rome among wealthy families belonging to the Roman upper-class, Jerome was frequently commissioned by women who had taken a vow of virginity to write them in guidance of how to live their life.

As a result, he spent a great deal of his life corresponding with these women about certain abstentions and lifestyle practices. The letters most frequently reprinted or referred to are of a hortatory nature, such as Ep. Practically all of Jerome's productions in the field of dogma have a more or less vehemently polemical character, and are directed against assailants of the orthodox doctrines.

Even the translation of the treatise of Didymus the Blind on the Holy Spirit into Latin begun in Rome , completed at Bethlehem shows an apologetic tendency against the Arians and Pneumatomachoi. The same is true of his version of Origen's De principiis c. The more strictly polemical writings cover every period of his life. During the sojourns at Antioch and Constantinople he was mainly occupied with the Arian controversy, and especially with the schisms centering around Meletius of Antioch and Lucifer Calaritanus. Two letters to Pope Damasus 15 and 16 complain of the conduct of both parties at Antioch, the Meletians and Paulinians, who had tried to draw him into their controversy over the application of the terms ousia and hypostasis to the Trinity.

At the same time or a little later he composed his Liber Contra Luciferianos , in which he cleverly uses the dialogue form to combat the tenets of that faction, particularly their rejection of baptism by heretics. In Rome c. An opponent of a somewhat similar nature was Jovinianus , with whom he came into conflict in Adversus Jovinianum , Against Jovinianus and the defense of this work addressed to his friend Pammachius , numbered 48 in the letters. Once more he defended the ordinary practices of piety and his own ascetic ethics in against the Gallic presbyter Vigilantius , who opposed the cultus of martyrs and relics, the vow of poverty, and clerical celibacy.

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To this period belong some of his most passionate and most comprehensive polemical works: the Contra Joannem Hierosolymitanum or ; the two closely connected Apologiae contra Rufinum ; and the "last word" written a few months later, the Liber tertius seuten ultima responsio adversus scripta Rufini. The last of his polemical works is the skilfully composed Dialogus contra Pelagianos Jerome warned that those substituting false interpretations for the actual meaning of Scripture belonged to the "synagogue of the Antichrist". He warned a noble woman of Gaul :.

Yes, Antichrist is near whom the Lord Jesus Christ "shall consume with the spirit of his mouth. Savage tribes in countless numbers have overrun run all parts of Gaul. His Commentary on Daniel was expressly written to offset the criticisms of Porphyry , [44] who taught that Daniel related entirely to the time of Antiochus IV Epiphanes and was written by an unknown individual living in the second century BC.

Against Porphyry, Jerome identified Rome as the fourth kingdom of chapters two and seven, but his view of chapters eight and 11 was more complex. Jerome held that chapter eight describes the activity of Antiochus Epiphanes, who is understood as a "type" of a future antichrist; onwards applies primarily to a future antichrist but was partially fulfilled by Antiochus. Instead, he advocated that the "little horn" was the Antichrist:. We should therefore concur with the traditional interpretation of all the commentators of the Christian Church, that at the end of the world, when the Roman Empire is to be destroyed, there shall be ten kings who will partition the Roman world amongst themselves.

Then an insignificant eleventh king will arise, who will overcome three of the ten kings In his Commentary on Daniel, he noted, "Let us not follow the opinion of some commentators and suppose him to be either the Devil or some demon, but rather, one of the human race, in whom Satan will wholly take up his residence in bodily form.

Jerome refuted Porphyry's application of the little horn of chapter seven to Antiochus. He expected that at the end of the world, Rome would be destroyed, and partitioned among ten kingdoms before the little horn appeared. Jerome believed that Cyrus of Persia is the higher of the two horns of the Medo-Persian ram of Daniel Jerome is the second most voluminous writer after Augustine of Hippo in ancient Latin Christianity.

In the Catholic Church , he is recognized as the patron saint of translators, librarians and encyclopedists. Jerome acquired a knowledge of Hebrew by studying with a Jew who converted to Christianity, and took the unusual position for that time that the Hebrew, and not the Septuagint, was the inspired text of the Old Testament. The traditional view is that he used this knowledge to translate what became known as the Vulgate, and his translation was slowly but eventually accepted in the Catholic Church. Jerome showed more zeal and interest in the ascetic ideal than in abstract speculation.

It was this strict asceticism that made Martin Luther judge him so severely. In fact, Protestant readers are not generally inclined to accept his writings as authoritative. The tendency to recognize a superior comes out in his correspondence with Augustine cf. Jerome's letters numbered 56, 67, —, —, —; and 28, 39, 40, 67—68, 71—75, 81—82 in Augustine's. Despite the criticisms already mentioned, Jerome has retained a rank among the western Fathers.


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This would be his due, if for nothing else, on account of the great influence exercised by his Latin version of the Bible upon the subsequent ecclesiastical and theological development. As a prominent member of the Roman clergy, he has often been portrayed anachronistically in the garb of a cardinal.

Even when he is depicted as a half-clad anchorite , with cross, skull and Bible for the only furniture of his cell, the red hat or some other indication of his rank as cardinal is as a rule introduced somewhere in the picture. During Jerome's life, cardinals did not exist. However, by the time of the Renaissance and the Baroque it was common practice for a secretary to the pope to be a cardinal as Jerome had effectively been to Damasus , and so this was reflected in artistic interpretations.

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Jerome is also often depicted with a lion, in reference to the popular hagiographical belief that Jerome had tamed a lion in the wilderness by healing its paw. The source for the story may actually have been the second century Roman tale of Androcles , or confusion with the exploits of Saint Gerasimus Jerome in later Latin is "Geronimus".

From the late Middle Ages, depictions of Jerome in a wider setting became popular.

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205 W. King Street

He is either shown in his study, surrounded by books and the equipment of a scholar, or in a rocky desert, or in a setting that combines both themes, with him studying a book under the shelter of a rock-face or cave mouth. His attribute of the lion, often shown at a smaller scale, may be beside him in either setting.

Jerome is often depicted in connection with the vanitas motif, the reflection on the meaninglessness of earthly life and the transient nature of all earthly goods and pursuits. In the 16th century Saint Jerome in his study by Pieter Coecke van Aelst and workshop the saint is depicted with a skull. Behind him on the wall is pinned an admonition, Cogita Mori "Think upon death". Further reminders of the vanitas motif of the passage of time and the imminence of death are the image of the Last Judgment visible in the saint's Bible, the candle and the hourglass.

Jerome is also sometimes depicted with an owl , the symbol of wisdom and scholarship.


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Saint Jerome in his study , c. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about an early Christian priest. For other uses, see Jerome disambiguation. For other uses, see Saint Jerome disambiguation. Saint Jerome in the Desert by Bernardino Pinturicchio c. Aquinas , Scotus , and Ockham. Renaissance and Modern. Adler G.