Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 30 September The Memorial of St Jerome (347-419) Father and Doctor of the Church

Thought for the Day – 30 September The Memorial of St Jerome (347-419) Father and Doctor of the Church

This is a saint of explosive likes and dislikes, of tremendous zeal and passion.

As a young man, he made friendships which lasted a lifetime but his thunderous invectives against his enemies, against heretics and critics are just as famous.    Thus, he is seen to be the most ‘human’ of saints but still (and this is of huge encouragement to us) one of the most powerful forces for good in the entire history of the Church.

He was, as someone has said, no admirer of moderation whether in virtue or against evil.
He was swift to anger but also swift to feel remorse, even more severe on his own shortcomings than on those of others.
The mortifications he inflicted on himself are legend – even a tiny bit of these would do us well in tempering our own sins.

I, personally, feel less worried about my leanings to explosive anger when I look at Jerome for he is an example to us of learning control, of fighting evil, of doing penance but also of growing in sanctity, of loving the Church and the Holy Scriptures and thus becoming master of tendencies to lose control!

St Jerome, please pray for us!

st jerome pray for us 2.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Quote/s of the Day – 30 September – The Memorial of St Jerome (347-419) Father and Doctor

Quote/s of the Day – 30 September
The Memorial of St Jerome (347-419) Father and Doctor

“What Jerome is ignorant of,
no man has ever known.”

St Augustine of Hippowhat jerome is ignorant of - st augustine - 30 sept 2017

“Every day we are changing,
every day we are dying
and yet we fancy ourselves eternal.”every day we are changing - st jerome - 30 sept 2017

“It is our part to seek,
His to grant what we ask;
ours to make a beginning,
His to bring it to completion;
ours to offer what we can,
His to finish what we cannot.”it is our part to seek - st jerome - 30 sept 2017

“If Christ did not want to dismiss the Jews
without food in the desert for fear,
that they would collapse on the way,
it was to teach us that it is dangerous to try
to get to heaven without the Bread of Heaven.”

“Without doubt, the Lord grants all favours
which are asked of Him in Mass,
provided they be fitting for us.”if christ did not want to dismiss the jews - st jerome - 30 sept 2017

“To be a Christian is a great thing,
not merely to seem one.
And somehow or other, those please the world most,
who please Christ the least…
Christians are made, not born.”to be a christian - st jerome - 30 sept 2017

“If a soul is not clothed with the teachings of the Church.
he cannot merit to have Jesus seated in him.”if a soul is not clothed - st jerome - 30 sept 2017

“Good, better, best.
Never let it rest.
‘Til your good is better
and your better is best.”good better best - st jerome - 30 sept 2017

“You say in your book that while we live, we are able to pray for each other
but afterwards when we have died, the prayer of no person for another can be heard.
But if the apostles and martyrs while still in the body can pray for others,
at a time when they ought still be solicitous about themselves,
how much more will they do so after their crowns, victories, and triumphs?” (St Jerome from Against Vigilantius, 406)

St Jerome (347-419)

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Our Morning Offering – 30 September – Memorial of St Jerome (347-419) Father and Doctor

Our Morning Offering – 30 September – Memorial of St Jerome (347-419) Father and Doctor

O Lord, show Your mercy to me
By St Jerome 

O Lord, show Your mercy to me
and gladden my heart.
I am like the man on the way to Jericho
who was overtaken by robbers,
wounded and left for dead.
O Good Samaritan,
come to my aid.
I am like the sheep that went astray.
O Good Shepherd,
seek me out and bring me home
in accord with Your will.
Let me dwell in Your house
all the days of my life
and praise You for ever and ever
with those who are there. Ameno lord, show your mercy to me - st jerome - 30 sept 2017

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 30 September – The Memorial of St Jerome (347-419) Father and Doctor

One Minute Reflection – 30 September – The Memorial of St Jerome (347-419) Father and Doctor

In your fight against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood…..Hebrews 12:4

REFLECTION – “Martyrdom does not consist only in dying for one’s faith.
Martyrdom also consists, in serving God, with love and purity of heart,
every day of one’s life.”…St Jeromemartyrdom does not - st jerome - 30 sept 2017

PRAYER – Dear and Holy God, let me offer You all my daily struggles against sin and evil.
Grant me the strength to resist even to the shedding of blood, if it should be required of me.
Sustain me ever more with Your word and help me to find in it, the source of life.
St Jerome Pray for us. Amenst jerome pray for us - 30 sept 2017

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 30 September – St Jerome (347-419) Father and Doctor of the Church

Saint of the Day – 30 September – St Jerome (347-419) Father and Doctor of the Church – Priest, Confessor, Theologian, Historian, Hermit, Mystic – born Eusebius Hieronymus Sophronius also known as Girolamo, Hieronymus, Jerom and the Man of the Bible – (347 at Strido, Dalmatia – 419 of natural causes).  His body was interred in Bethlehem and his relics are now enshrined at the Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome, Italy.   Patronages – • archeologists• archivists• Bible scholars• librarians; libraries• schoolchildren; students • translators• Saint-Jérôme, Québec, city of• Saint-Jérôme, Québec, diocese of• Taos Indian Pueblo.   Attributes – • cardinal’s hat, often on the ground or behind him, indicating that he turned his back on the pomp of ecclesiastical life• lion, referring to thelion who befriended him after he pulled a thorn from the creature’s paw• man beating himself in the chest with a stone• aged monk in desert• aged monk with Bible• aged monk writing • old man with a lion• skull• hourglass.


St Jerome was a man of extremes.   He lived to age 91 even though he undertook extreme penances.   Jerome had a fierce temper but an equally intense love of Christ.   This brilliant saint was born in Eastern Europe around 345. His Christian family sent him to Rome at age 12 for a good education.   He studied there until he was 20.   Then he and his friends lived in a small monastery for three years, until the group dissolved.   Jerome set out for Palestine but when he reached Antioch, he fell seriously ill. He dreamed one night that he was taken before the judgment seat of God and condemned for being a heretic.   This dream made a deep impression on him.

He is best known for his translation of the Bible into Latin mainly from the Hebrew (the translation that became known as the Vulgate) and his commentaries on the Gospels.  His list of writings is extensive.   Jerome was strong willed.   His writings, especially those opposing what he considered heresy, were sometimes explosive.   His temperament helped him do difficult tasks but it also made him enemies.   Jerome was named a Doctor of the Church for the Vulgate, his commentaries on Scripture, his writings on monastic life and his belief that during a controversy on theological opinions, the See of Rome was where the matter should be settled.

In order to be able to do such work, Jerome prepared himself well.   He was a master of Latin, Greek, Hebrew and Chaldaic.   He began his studies at his birthplace, Stridon in Dalmatia.   After his preliminary education, he went to Rome, the center of learning at that time and thence to Trier, Germany, where the scholar was very much in evidence. He spent several years in each place, always trying to find the very best teachers. He once served as private secretary to Pope Damasus.

Skilled in the study of languages and exegesis, he laboured for more than 20 years to translate most of the Bible into the Latin language.   Jerome’s edition, the Vulgate, is arguably the most influential translation of the Bible.   During the Council of Trent (1545–1563), the Vulgate was affirmed as the official text of the Church.  He is still considered the Church’s greatest Doctor of Scriptures.

He conferred this praise upon St. Augustine:  “As I have done, you applied all your energy to make the enemies of the Church your personal enemies.”   This eulogy is consistent with the counsel of St. Augustine:  “You must hate the evil, but love the one who errs.”

Regarding St. Jerome the Roman Breviary says:  “He pummeled the heretics with his most harsh writings.” 

St Jerome was orthodox in his theology and was a defender of historic Christianity. However, his greatest contributions to the faith came in terms of biblical studies and translation.

  1. Jerome insisted that Bible translations should come from the languages Scripture was originally written in.   For example, instead of relying on the popular Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures of the time (the Septuagint), Jerome utilized ancient Hebrew copies that he considered more reliable.
  2. Jerome believed that Christians should be well grounded in and possess a good knowledge of Scripture.   In his commentary on Isaiah, Jerome stated: “Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.”
  3. Jerome modeled and advocated the Christian ascetic and scholarly life.   The life of a monk seems well suited for a Bible translator.

After these preparatory studies, he traveled extensively in Palestine, marking each spot of Christ’s life with an outpouring of devotion.   Mystic that he was, he spent five years in the desert of Chalcis so that he might give himself up to prayer, penance and study. Finally, he settled in Bethlehem, where he lived in the cave believed to have been the birthplace of Christ.   Jerome died in Bethlehem and the remains of his body now lie buried in the Basilica of St Mary Major in Rome.

“When the Latin Fathers are represented in a group, Saint Jerome is sometimes in a cardinal’s dress and hat,
although cardinals were not known until three centuries later than his time but as the other Fathers held exalted positions in the Church
and were represented in ecclesiastical costumes and as Saint Jerome held a dignified office in the court of Pope Dalmasius,
it seemed fitting to picture him as a cardinal.
The Venetian painters frequently represented him in a full scarlet robe, with a hood thrown over the head. When thus habited, his symbol was a church in his hand, emblematic of his importance to the universal Church.

Saint Jerome is also seen as a penitent, or again, with a book and pen, attended by a lion.
As a penitent, he is a wretched old man, scantily clothed, with a bald head and neglected beard, a most unattractive figure.

When he is represented as translating the Scriptures, he is in a cell or a cave, clothed in a sombre coloured robe and is writing, or gazing upward for inspiration. In a few instances, an angel is dictating to him. – from Saints in Art, by Clara Irskine Clement




Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 30 September

St Jerome (Memorial) (347-419) Father and Doctor

St Amatus of Nusco
St Antoninus of Piacenza
St Castus of Piacenza
St Colman of Clontibret
Bl Conrad of Urach
St Desiderius of Piacenza
St Enghenedl of Anglesey
St Eusebia of Marseilles
Bl Frederick Albert
St Honoratus of Canterbury
St Ismidone of Die
Bl ean-Nicolas Cordier
St Laurus
St Leopardus the Slave
Bl Ludwik Gietyngier
St Midan of Anglesey
St Simon of Crépy
St Ursus the Theban
St Victor the Theban

Martyrs of Valsery Abbey: An unknown number of Premonstratensian monks at the Abbey of Notre-Dame de Valsery, Picardie, France who were martyred by Calvinists. They were martyred in 1567 at Valsery, Pircardy, France

Posted in ARCHangels and Angels, CATECHESIS, DOCTORS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, HOMILIES, MORNING Prayers, Pope BENEDICT XVI, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD, Uncategorized

Thought for the Day – 29 September – The Feast of Sts Michael, Gabriel and Raphael

Thought for the Day – 29 September – The Feast of Sts Michael, Gabriel and Raphael

We are celebrating the Feast of the three Archangels who are mentioned by name in Scripture: Michael, Gabriel and Raphael.   But what is an Angel?   Sacred Scripture and the Church’s tradition enable us to discern two aspects.

On the one hand, the Angel is a creature who stands before God, oriented to God with his whole being.   All three names of the Archangels end with the word “El”, which means “God”.   God is inscribed in their names, in their nature.
Their true nature is existing in His sight and for Him.   In this very way the second aspect that characterizes Angels is also explained:  they are God’s messengers.   They bring God to men, they open heaven and thus open earth.  Precisely because they are with God, they can also be very close to man.

Like an angel to others
Indeed, God is closer to each one of us than we ourselves are.   The Angels speak to man of what constitutes his true being, of what in his life is so often concealed and buried. They bring him back to himself, touching him on God’s behalf.   In this sense, we human beings must also always return to being angels to one another – angels who turn people away from erroneous ways and direct them always, ever anew, to God.
If the ancient Church called Bishops “Angels” of their Church, she meant precisely this: Bishops themselves must be men of God, they must live oriented to God. “Multum orat pro populo” – “Let them say many prayers for the people”, the Breviary of the Church says of holy Bishops.   The Bishop must be a man of prayer, one who intercedes with God for human beings.   The more he does so, the more he also understands the people who are entrusted to him and can become an angel for them – a messenger of God who helps them to find their true nature by themselves, and to live the idea that God has of them.

St Michael:  making a space for God in the world
All this becomes even clearer if we now look at the figures of the three Archangels whose Feast the Church is celebrating today.  First of all there is Michael.   We find him in Sacred Scripture above all in the Book of Daniel, in the Letter of the Apostle St Jude Thaddeus and in the Book of Revelation.

Two of this Archangel’s roles become obvious in these texts.   He defends the cause of God’s oneness against the presumption of the dragon, the “ancient serpent”, as John calls it.   The serpent’s continuous effort is to make men believe that God must disappear so that they themselves may become important;   that God impedes our freedom and, therefore, that we must rid ourselves of him.

However, the dragon does not only accuse God.   The Book of Revelation also calls it “the accuser of our brethren…, who accuses them day and night before our God” (12: 10). Those who cast God aside do not make man great but divest him of his dignity.   Man then becomes a failed product of evolution.   Those who accuse God also accuse man. Faith in God defends man in all his frailty and short-comings:  God’s brightness shines on every individual.   It is the duty of the Bishop and of every christian, as a man of God, to make room in the world for God, to counter the denials of Him and thus to defend man’s greatness.   And what more could one say and think about man than the fact that God Himself was made man?   Michael’s other role, according to Scripture, is that of protector of the People of God (cf. Dn 10: 21; 12: 1).
Dear friends, be true “guardian angels” of the Church which will be entrusted to you! Help the People of God whom you must lead in its pilgrimage to find the joy of faith and to learn to discern the spirits: to accept good and reject evil, to remain and increasingly to become, by virtue of the hope of faith, people who love in communion with God-Love.

St Gabriel: God who calls
We meet the Archangel Gabriel especially in the precious account of the annunciation to Mary of the Incarnation of God, as Luke tells it to us (1: 26-38).   Gabriel is the messenger of God’s Incarnation.   He knocks at Mary’s door and, through him, God himself asks Mary for her “yes” to the proposal to become the Mother of the Redeemer, of giving her human flesh to the eternal Word of God, to the Son of God.   The Lord knocks again and again at the door of the human heart.   In the Book of Revelation He says to the “angel” of the Church of Laodicea and, through him, to the people of all times:  “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me” (3: 20).   The Lord is at the door – at the door of the world and at the door of every individual heart.   He knocks to be let in, the Incarnation of God, His taking flesh, must continue until the end of time.  All must be reunited in Christ in one body –  the great hymns on Christ in the Letters to the Ephesians and to the Colossians tell us this. Christ knocks.   Today too He needs people who, so to speak, make their own flesh available to Him, give Him the matter of the world and of their lives, thus serving the unification between God and the world, until the reconciliation of the universe.   Dear friends, it is your task to knock at people’s hearts in Christ’s Name.   By entering into union with Christ yourselves, you will also be able to assume Gabriel’s role: to bring Christ’s call to men.

St Raphael: recovering sight
St Raphael is presented to us, above all in the Book of Tobit, as the Angel to whom is entrusted the task of healing.   When Jesus sends His disciples out on a mission, the task of proclaiming the Gospel is always linked with that of healing.   The Good Samaritan, in accepting and healing the injured person lying by the wayside, becomes without words a witness of God’s love.   We are all this injured man, in need of being healed.   Proclaiming the Gospel itself already means healing in itself, because man is in need of truth and love above all things.

The Book of Tobit refers to two of the Archangel Raphael’s emblematic tasks of healing. He heals the disturbed communion between a man and a woman.  He heals their love. He drives out the demons who over and over again exhaust and destroy their love.   He purifies the atmosphere between the two and gives them the ability to accept each other for ever.   In Tobit’s account, this healing is recounted with legendary images.

In the New Testament, the order of marriage established in creation and threatened in many ways by sin, is healed through Christ’s acceptance of it in His redeeming love.   He makes marriage a sacrament:  His love, put on a cross for us, is the healing power which in all forms of chaos offers the capacity for reconciliation, purifies the atmosphere and mends the wounds.   The priest is entrusted with the task of leading men and women ever anew to the reconciling power of Christ’s love.  He must be the healing “angel” who helps them to anchor their love to the sacrament and to live it with an ever renewed commitment based upon it.

Secondly, the Book of Tobit speaks of the healing of sightless eyes. We all know how threatened we are today by blindness to God.   How great is the danger that with all we know of material things and can do with them, we become blind to God’s light.   Healing this blindness through the message of faith and the witness of love is Raphael’s service, entrusted day after day to the priest and in a special way to the Bishop.   Thus, we are prompted spontaneously also to think of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the Sacrament of Penance which in the deepest sense of the word is a sacrament of healing.   The real wound in the soul, in fact, the reason for all our other injuries, is sin.   And only if forgiveness exists, by virtue of God’s power, by virtue of Christ’s love, can we be healed, can we be redeemed.

“Abide in my love”, the Lord says to us today in the Gospel (Jn 15: 9).   At the moment of your Episcopal Ordination he says so particularly to you, dear friends.   Abide in His love!   Abide in that friendship with Him, full of love, which He is giving you anew at this moment!   Then your lives will bear fruit, fruit that abides (cf. Jn 15: 16).   Let us all pray for you at this time, dear Brothers, so that this may be granted to you. Amen.

Benedict XVI, fragments of a homily (to Bishops) given on September 29, 2007

Sts Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, pray for us!

holy archangels - pray for us.2