This calendar of saints is drawn from several denominations, sects, and traditions. Although it will no longer be updated daily, the index on the right will guide visitors to a saint celebrated on any day they choose. Additional saints will be added as they present themselves to Major.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

September 30 -- St. Jerome

This is definitely a Big Dog Day. Jerome, the cantankerous unconventional monk who translated the Bible into Latin (the Vulgate), died peacefully (more peacefully than he lived) on September 30, AD 420. Jerome was an ascetic monk, brilliant and quick to criticize other church leaders who disagreed with him. Having inveighed against priests who care more for wealthy widows than for the poor and sick, Jerome was hoist on his own petard when he accepted the support of Marcella, Paula, Eustochium, and "the ladies of Rome." False and malicious rumors spread about Jerome and Paula -- they were debunked but the damage they had done to his reputation may have cost him the Papacy when his friend Pope Damasus died. Then again, maybe he never stood a chance -- tact and diplomacy were not suits he found in his hand.

If I seem to have cast him in a bad light, consider this: he was a brilliant scholar who set aside his writing and translating to aid the Roman refugees fleeing Alaric's army. Said he, "Today we must translate the words of scripture into deeds, and instead of speaking saintly words we must act them." What more could we want from a saint?

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