ST. JEROME Biography - Religious Figures & Icons


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Name: St. Jerome                                                                                                 
Doctor of the Church                                                                                             
Born: ca. 347, Stridon, Dalmatia                                                                                 
Died: 420, Bethlehem, Judea                                                                                       
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church                                                                               
Jerome (ca. 347 - September 30, 420; Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus) is best known as the translator of the Bible 
from Greek and Hebrew into Latin. He also was a Christian apologist. Jerome's                                     
edition of the Bible, the Vulgate, is still an important text of the Roman                                       
Catholic Church. He is recognized by the Roman Catholic Church as a canonized                                     
Saint and Doctor of the Church. He is also recognized as a saint by the Eastern                                   
Orthodox Church, where he is known as St. Jerome of Stridonium or Blessed Jerome                                 
("Blessed" in this context does not have the sense of being less than a saint,                                   
as in the West).                                                                                                 
In the artistic tradition of the Roman Catholic Church it has been usual to                                       
represent him, the patron of theological learning, anachronistically, as a                                       
cardinal, by the side of the Bishop Augustine, the Archbishop Ambrose, and the                                   
Pope Gregory I. Even when he is depicted as a half-clad anchorite, with cross,                                   
skull, and Bible for the only furniture of his cell, the red hat or some other                                   
indication of his rank is as a rule introduced somewhere in the picture. He is                                   
also often depicted with a lion, due to a medieval story in which he removed a                                   
thorn from a lion's paw, and, less often, an owl, the symbol of wisdom and                                       
scholarship. Writing materials and the trumpet of final judgment are also                                         
part of his iconography.