Pictured here is one of the caves in which Saint Jerome spent over 30 years of his life, carefully pouring over the Sacred Scriptures, and creating what would become arguably one of the most important writings in the history of the world: the Latin Vulgate. Accessible through a side stairway leading down from the Church of Saint Catherine of Alexandria in Bethlehem, this set of caves is connected to the very same cave in which Christ was born, only a stones throw away. Prime real estate for a man who wanted nothing more than to pour over the Word of God.
When he was not making grumpy comments about pilgrims to the Holy Land, that is. This quotation is attributed to him:
“They come here from all over the world, the city regurgitates every type of human being; and there is an awful crush of persons of both sexes who in other places you should avoid at least in part but here you have to stomach them to the full.”
He was a brilliant and devoted child of God and scholar of the Scriptures. And he was known to have been very critical. Indeed God uses flawed instruments to do great things. Today we praise the Lord for Saint Jerome, and we ask for a deep love of the Holy Word of God.
“O God, who gave the Priest Saint Jerome a living and tender love of the Sacred Scripture, grant that your people may be ever more fruitfully nourished by your Word and find in it the fount of life. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever, Amen.”