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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Saints Alive!

This is one of the lion cupcakes we made for the feast day of St. Jerome. St. Jerome is often depicted with a lion because of a legend about him befriending a lion. However, I think the association with the lion is because it was the only animal that could put up with his temper. St. Paula, who worked with him in translating the bible, is known in large part for her ability to put up with Jerome.

Today is Jerome's name day. We try to celebrate the saint's day of each of our children (Amira gets her middle name, since there is no St. Amira so far, same thing for Yasmina). It is a fun way to teach them a little more about the lives of the saints and the character traits we'd like them to develop. We are really praying for Jerome to get his namesake's holiness, charity, zeal for truth and studiousness rather than his irascibility and sharp tongue.

St. Jerome is a Doctor of the Church, he revised and translated the Latin bible, the Vulgate, studying the original texts in their original languages so he could give an accurate rendition. He already was fluent in Greek and Latin, he learned Hebrew as well as Aramaic to be able to translate the Old Testament accurately. Jerome learned true submission, but he started out having some real authority problems. He was known for his quick temper and his stridency, though he sought to overcome these traits through prayer and penance. St. Augustine had some choice words about him, but he did respect him. He said "What Jerome is ignorant of, no man has ever known."

Jerome lived to see the sack of Rome, arranged for the shelter of the many Roman Christians who fled Rome for Palestine at that time saying: "I have put aside all my study to help them. Now we must translate the words of Scripture into deeds, and instead of speaking holy words we must do them." He had a true love for God and for His people which he lived out, in spite of his weaknesses.

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