Christian Thinkers 101: A Crash Course on St. Jerome

Reflections

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Tradition reveals that St. Jerome preferred studying the biblical languages because it helped him fend off impure thoughts. But who was this ancient Christian monk, and what is his enduring legacy in terms of historic Christianity? Here’s your crash course on the life and accomplishments of St. Jerome—and why he still matters today.

Who Was Jerome?

Jerome (c. 347–420) was born in Stridon, a town in the Roman province of Dalmatia (thought to be in modern-day Croatia or Slovenia), to a fairly wealthy Christian family. He was educated in Rome where his schooling included studies in grammar, rhetoric, and philosophy. He was baptized as a young adult in Rome and later studied under the Eastern Cappadocian theologian Gregory of Nazianzus. A strong advocate of the ascetic life (monasticism), Jerome was a contemporary and friend of St. Augustine. Jerome died in the city of Bethlehem. He is widely considered the greatest…

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