Pope Benedict XVI today gave a brief teaching on the life of St. Jerome, who was born in the 340s and died in the year 420. St. Jerome is best known for translating the Bible into Latin from the original Hebrew and Greek. "To ignore Scripture," he said, "is to ignore Christ." That's a message all Christians would do well to remember. Here's the English portion of the Pope's teaching:
"In our catechesis on the teachers of the early Church, we now turn to Saint Jerome, who was responsible for the Latin version of the Bible known as the Vulgate. Jerome made the Scriptures the centre of his life, translating the inspired word of God, commenting upon its teaching and, above all, striving to live his life in accordance with its precepts. Born in Dalmatia in the middle of the fourth century and educated in Rome, he embraced the ascetic life and devoted himself to the study of Hebrew and Greek. After a sojourn in the East, he returned to Rome as secretary to Pope Damasus, who encouraged him in his work of translation. He then retired to the Holy Land, where he founded monasteries and a hospice for pilgrims in Bethlehem. Jerome’s entire life, his vast erudition and the spiritual wisdom born of his ascetic lifestyle were devoted to the service of God’s word, the refutation of heresy and the encouragement of Christian culture. Let us take to heart the words which this great master of the spiritual life once addressed to Saint Paulinus of Nola, and 'seek to learn on earth those truths which will remain ever valid in heaven'."