Thursday, February 18, 2010

St. Jerome (c.340/347 to Sept. 30, 420)

"Lord show me your mercy and make my heart glad."

St. Jerome was born between 340 and 347 in Stridon, a small town in northern Italy on the Yugoslavian border. At age 18, he was baptized by Pope Liberius in Rome.
He is best known for his translation of the bible into Latin. St. Jerome died in Bethlehem, Judea on Sept. 30, 420. He was buried in St. Mary Majorin in Rome and is the patron saint of librarians.
I've only met one person named Jerome in my life and he happened to be a member of the clergy. When I was 15-years-old, our parish priest was named Father Jerome. We called him Father Jerry. He was not more than 28-years-old, wore flannel shirts, and rode a motorcycle. He offered us confession in unlikely places such as outdoors on the church steps.
And, we held him and our religion in the highest regard. I had lost my grandfather at that time and because of it questioned my faith. Many of my peers were experimenting with cigarettes, alcohol, and sex.
Father Jerry was kind to us and understood what it was like to be a teenager. I'm not sure what his method was for getting through to my Confirmation class but it worked. He taught us to respect our parents yet be independent thinkers.
The last I heard Father Jerry was a chaplain in the Army. Wherever he is today, may he know that he had a profound and positive influence on me that I will never forget.

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