Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Feast of St. Jerome

Painting by El Greco, “St. Jerome, cardinal”, c. 1587-1597

Today is the feast of St. Jerome!

He is a the famous curmudgeon of the bible - by which I mean, he is a Doctor of the Church, and famous for his translation of the bible from the original Greek into the vernacular of the day: latin. He was a noted scholar with a keen mind and a sharp tongue as well as gifted in languages.

'Saint Jerome and the Angel' by Simon Vouet, 1625

If he was alive today he, who knows how he might have put all our instant mass media to use....he was well known for his scathing letters and commentary on all sorts of goings on in the culture and even the church at the time. He was not a mushy feel good sort of guy, he was grouchy and reportedly ill tempered and critical, with ascetic leanings. Sort of like an old, holy version of a modern day James Carville maybe, but OH so so much better.

Painting by Joos Van Cleve, "St. Jerome" c. early 16C

And that's the thing that I tend to take away from St. Jerome. Not only is he the patron saint of librarians, students, school-kids, translators (and hey, I should be hitting him up for prayers daily, what have I been thinking?), archivists and so on. I think he just might be the ticket, the patron and go to prayer guy for grouchy critical folks like me! He shows us (ok, me) that even us grumps can get to heaven and God can work even through the grouchiness and beyond. It gives me hope, I tell ya!

Painting by La Tour, "St. Jerome"

Happy Feast Day!
St. Jerome, Pray for us!

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