A daily study of the Network’s diverse faiths
St Jerome (Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus, Εὐσέβιος Σωφρόνιος Ἱερώνυμος, Jerome of Stridon) (c347-420). Latin Catholic Church Feast Day and Lutheran Commemoration for the hermit, priest, confessor, theologian, historian and translator of the Scriptures into the Latin Vulgate. He was born in modern Croatia and was an inspiring writer of letters and commentaries and a teacher fluent in Latin and Greek. Although known to have had a bad temper, he was a man of prayer and penance, a combination of conflicting qualities. St Jerome stands out as one of the four great Doctors of the Latin Church and was known for his teachings on Christian moral life, especially to those living in cosmopolitan centres such as Rome. In many cases, he focused his attention on the lives of women and identified the way a woman devoted to Jesus should live her life. This focus stemmed from his close patronal relationships with several prominent female ascetics who were members of affluent senatorial families. Jerome died in Bethlehem on 30 September 420. Venerated in Catholic, Eastern Orthodox Churches, Anglican Communion, Lutheranism, Oriental Orthodoxy. Major shrine Basilica of St Mary Major, Rome. Patron of archaeologists, archivists, Bible scholars, librarians, libraries. school children, students, translators, Dalmatia, Morong, Rizal. Image: catholicnewsagency.com.
Мати Софія (Mother Sophia, St Sophia) (d137). Christians who follow the Julian Calendar celebrate today the Feast of a three young Christian martyred saints Faith, Hope and Charity (Fides, Spes et Caritas), venerated together with their mother, Sophia (Σοφíα, ⲧⲥⲟⲫⲓⲁ, Wisdom). The Widow Sophia with her daughters, who were named after three major Christian virtues, lived in Rome under Emperor Hadrian in the Second Century. He sent the daughters to a pagan woman who was to persuade them to renounce the Christian faith and have them offer sacrifices to pagan gods. When this did not succeed, the emperor personally demanded that the sisters renounce Christianity but they refused, Faith being 12, Hope 10 and Charity 9. He ordered the children to be tortured to death and the mother to personally bury their bodies. After 3 days of relentless prayer at their grave, St Sophia died there in 137. Their tomb in a crypt beneath the church dedicated to Saint Pancratius (Pancras of Rome) in the Sixth Century was long a place of pilgrimage. In the Ukraine, this is a double holy day with the Day of Adoption. Of about 1,400 babies born in the Ukraine daily, about 50 are orphans and 60 of the younger ones adopted daily. A feminine figure in Gnosticism was identified as Sophia, analogous to the human soul but also simultaneously one of the feminine aspects of God. Gnostics held that she was the syzygy (female twin divine Aeon) of Jesus and thus the Bride of Christ and Holy Spirit of the Trinity. She is occasionally referred to by the Hebrew equivalent of the Tree of Life (Ἀχαμώθ, חכמה) and as Prunikos (Προύνικος). She is considered to have fallen from grace and in so doing creating or helping to create the material world. Image: vsviti.com.ua.
St Thomas of Villanova (Tomás García y Martínez OSA) (1488-1555). Roman Catholic Church (Order of St Augustine) Commemoration of the death of the Castilian Spanish professor and Friar of the Order of Saint Augustine in Salamanca who was a noted preacher, confessor, ascetic and religious writer who sent the first Augustinian Friars to the New World. He became a Councillor of State and, as the 1544 Archbishop of Valencia, earned the title of reformer due to his scathing attacks on his fellow bishops but he was famous for his eloquent and effective preaching and the extent of his care for the poor of his see. Thomas was known as the father of the poor and his continual charitable efforts were untiring, especially towards orphans, poor women without a dowry, and the sick. He possessed, however, an intelligent notion of charity so that, whilst he was very charitable, he sought to obtain definitive and structural solutions to the problem of poverty, by for example giving work to the poor and thereby making his charity bear fruit. He wrote: “Charity is not just giving, rather removing the need of those who receive charity and liberating them from it when possible.”Thomas established boarding schools and high schools and organised a special college for Moorish (Muslim) converts, with an effective plan for social assistance, welfare and charity. He had a great devotion to the Virgin Mary, whose heart he compared to the burning bush of Moses that is never consumed. He died in Valencia on 8 September 1555 and his remains are preserved at the Cathedral there. Part of his family house still stands, with a coat of arms in the corner beside a family chapel. His Sermon on the Love of God is one of the great examples of sacred Sixteenth Century oratory. Venerated in Roman Catholic Church (Order of St. Augustine). In the Philippines, some churches and towns are dedicated in his honour with grand fiestas (feasts) celebrating his memory with ample food on the table for guests and visitors. The Sisters of St Thomas of Villanova (SSTV) religious congregation was founded in 1661 at Lumballe, Brittany, by the Augustinian priest Pierre LeProust to restore hospitals and care for the sick in them. The congregation broadened its work to aid in all forms of spiritual as well as material need and spread quickly through France but almost disappeared during the French Revolution. In 1801, the year of the Concordat that sought national reconciliation between revolutionaries and Catholics, solidified the Roman Catholic Church as the majority church of France, and restored France’s ties to the papacy, Napoleon I (Napoléon Bonaparte) aided the congregation’s renewal. Its 1873 papal approval led to its working in hospitals, orphanages and schools, with the Sisters aiding the sick and poor, principally in Brittany, Normandy and Île de France. The congregation established its first foundation in the USA in 1948. Feast Day 22 September. Patron of Danao City, Santolan, Alimodian, Miag-ao, Dao, Barangay Santolan, Villanova University. Image: catholicnewsworld.com.
Prayer As did St Thomas, I will love You, Lord, every way and without setting limits to my love. You set no limits to what You have done for me, You did not measure out Your gifts. I will not measure out my love, but love You, Lord, with all my strength and with all my powers as much as I am able. Amen