Note: The above quote notwithstanding, a lot of the artwork depicting this famous Saint is, uh, sinister-looking. When he’s not posed with a skull (as above) he is often depicted in solid red and with an extremely long beard. Maybe that was not viewed in the same way during his life.
Who is Jerome?
Jerome (/dʒəˈroʊm/; Latin: Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus; Greek: Εὐσέβιος Σωφρόνιος Ἱερώνυμος; c. 342–347 – 30 September 420), also known as Jerome of Stridon, was a Latin priest, confessor, theologian, and historian; he is commonly known as Saint Jerome.
Jerome was born at Stridon, a village near Emona on the border of Dalmatia and Pannonia. Jerome is best known for his translation of most of the Bible into Latin (the translation that became known as the Vulgate) and his commentaries on the whole Bible. Jerome attempted to create a translation of the Old Testament based on a Hebrew version, rather than the Septuagint, as Latin Bible translations used to be performed before him. His list of writings is extensive, and beside his Biblical works, he wrote polemical and historical assays, always from a theologian’s perspective.
Jerome was known for his teachings on Christian moral life, especially to those living in cosmopolitan centers such as Rome. In many cases, he focused his attention on the lives of women and identified how a woman devoted to Jesus should live her life. This focus stemmed from his close patron relationships with several prominent female ascetics who were members of affluent senatorial families.
Thanks to Jerome’s contribution to Christianity, he is recognised as a saint and Doctor of the Church by the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Lutheran Church, and the Anglican Communion. His feast day is 30 September.