Posted in MARTYRS, PATRONAGE - A HOLY DEATH & AGAINST A SUDDEN DEATH, PATRONAGE - LAWYERS / NOTARIES, PATRONAGE - LIBRARIES/LIBRARIANS/ARCHIVISTS, PATRONAGE - SCHOOLS, COLLEGES etc AND STUDENTS, PATRONAGE - SINGLE LAYWOMEN, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 25 November – St Catherine of Alexandria (Died c 305)

Saint of the Day – 25 November – St Catherine of Alexandria (Died c 305) Virgin and Martyr, Philosopher – One of the Fourteen Holy Helpers – Patronages:  unmarried girls and women, apologists, craftsmen who work with a wheel (potters, spinners), archivists, dying people, educators, jurists, knife sharpeners, lawyers, librarians, libraries, mechanics, millers, milliners, hat-makers, nurses, philosophers, preachers, schoolchildren, secretaries, stenographers, students, tanners, theologians, haberdashers, wheelwrights, 6 Universities worldwide, 12 Cities, 2 Diocese.   It is important to note that whilst much of St Catherine’s history is regarded as apocryphal (by historians), St Catherine, like many of the early Martyrs, did exist though the details and circumstances of her life are probably partly unknown.   587px-Simon_Vouet_-_St._Catherine_-_Google_Art_Project

According to the traditional narrative, Catherine was the daughter of Constus, the governor of Egyptian Alexandria during the reign of the emperor Maximian (286–305). From a young age, she devoted herself to study.   A vision of the Madonna and Child persuaded her to become a Christian.   When the persecutions began under Maxentius, she went to the emperor and rebuked him for his cruelty.   The emperor summoned 50 of the best pagan philosophers and orators to dispute with her, hoping that they would refute her pro-Christian arguments but Catherine won the debate.   Several of her adversaries, conquered by her eloquence, declared themselves Christians and were at once put to death.900_Saint Catherine of Alexandria

Catherine was then scourged and imprisoned.   She was scourged so cruelly and for so long, that her whole body was covered with wounds, from which the blood flowed in streams.   The spectators wept with pity but Catherine, strengthened by God, stood with her eyes raised to heaven, without giving a sign of suffering or fear.   He ordered her to be imprisoned without food, so she would starve to death.   During the confinement, angels tended her wounds with salve.   Catherine was fed daily by a dove from Heaven and Christ also visited her, encouraging her to fight bravely and promised her the crown of everlasting glory.paolo veronese st catherine of alexandria in prison 1528-1588

During her imprisonment, over 200 people came to see her, including Maxentius’ wife, Valeria Maximilla – all converted to Christianity and were subsequently martyred. Twelve days later, when the dungeon was opened, a bright light and fragrant perfume filled it and Catherine came forth even more radiant and beautiful.

Upon the failure of Maxentius to make Catherine yield by way of torture, he tried to win the beautiful and wise princess over by proposing marriage.   The saint refused, declaring that her spouse was Jesus Christ, to whom she had consecrated her virginity. The furious emperor condemned Catherine to death on a spiked breaking wheel but, at her touch, it shattered.   Maxentius ordered her to be beheaded.   Catherine herself ordered the execution to commence.   A milk-like substance rather than blood flowed from her neck.St_Catherine_of_Alexandria_WGA

Angels transported her body to the highest mountain (now called Mount Saint Catherine) next to Mount Sinai, where God gave His Law.   In 850, her incorrupt body was discovered by monks from the Sinai Monastery.   The monks found on the surface of the granite on which her body lay, an impression of the form of her body.   Her hair still growing and a constant stream of the most heavenly fragranced healing oil issuing from her body.   This oil produced countless miracles.Saint Catherine of Alexandria wp size

Saint Catherine was one of the most important saints in the religious culture of the late Middle Ages and arguably considered the most important of the virgin martyrs, a group including Saint Agnes, Margaret of Antioch, Saint Barbara, Saint Lucy, Valerie of Limoges and many others.   Her power as an intercessor was renowned and firmly established in most versions of her hagiography, in which she specifically entreats Christ at the moment of her death to answer the prayers of those who remember her martyrdom and invoke her name.

The pyrotechnic Catherine wheel, from which sparks fly off in all directions, took its name from the saint’s wheel of martyrdom.St.-Catherine-of-Alexandria-Window-at-St.-Bridget-in-DeGraf

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, PATRONAGE - LIBRARIES/LIBRARIANS/ARCHIVISTS, PATRONAGE - SCHOOLS, COLLEGES etc AND STUDENTS, 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

Saint Jerome, born in Dalmatia in 347, was sent to school in Rome.   His boyhood was not free from fault, his thirst for knowledge was excessive and his love of books, a passion. He had studied under the best masters, visited foreign cities and devoted himself to the pursuit of learning.st jerome info - MY EDIT- 30 sept 2018

But Christ had need of his strong will and active intellect for the service of His Church.  He told him in a supernatural experience he never forgot, that he was not a Christian, but a Ciceronian – your heart is where your treasure is, said the Lord to him — that is, in the eloquent writings of antique times.   Saint Jerome obeyed the divine call, making a vow never again to read profane works and another of celibacy.

In Rome he had already assisted a number of holy women to organise houses of retirement where they consecrated themselves to God by vow.  Calumnies, arising from jealousy, made a certain headway against the scholar whose competence was beginning to attract honours.SAMSUNG

He fled from Rome to the wild Syrian desert and there for four years learned in solitude, intense sufferings and persecution from the demons, new lessons in humility, penance and prayer and divine wisdom.   I was very foolish to want to sing the hymns of the Lord on foreign soil and to abandon the mountain of Sinai to beg help from Egypt, he declared.NORTH ITALIAN SCHOOL - ST JEROME - SNIP DETAIL

Pope Damasus summoned him back to Rome and there assigned to the famous scholar, already expert in Hebrew and other ancient languages, the task of revising the Latin Bible.   Saint Jerome obeyed his earthly Head as he had obeyed his Lord.   Retiring once more in 386 to Bethlehem, the eloquent hermit sent forth from his solitary cell not only a solidly accurate version of the Scriptures but during thirty years’ time, a veritable stream of luminous writings for the Christian world.   He combated with unfailing efficacy several heresies being subtly introduced by various personages in his own region and elsewhere.Hans_Memling_-_St_Jerome_and_the_Lion - YOUNGER_-_WGA14946

For fourteen years the hand of the great scholar could no longer write but Saint Jerome could still dictate to six secretaries at a time, to each on a different subject, in those final years.   He died in his beloved Bethlehem in 420, when over 80 years old.   His tomb is still in a subterranean chapel of its ancient basilica but his relics were transported to Saint Mary Major Basilica of Rome, where the crib of Bethlehem is conserved.HEADER ST JEROME-813x1024

BERNINI'S ST JEROME IN THE VATICAN
Bernini’s St Jerome at St Peter’s Basilica

 

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, PATRONAGE - LIBRARIES/LIBRARIANS/ARCHIVISTS, PATRONAGE - SCHOOLS, COLLEGES etc AND STUDENTS, 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 – Archeologist, archivists, Scripture scholars, librarians and 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 the lion 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.

CRASH-COURSE-JEROME

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