Thursday, September 30, 2021

September 30 is the feast day of St. Jerome, patron saint of librarians and libraries as well as archivists, translators and encyclopedists. It is celebrated in the Catholic Church for this canonized saint and Doctor of the Church and as a day of commemoration in Lutheran churches. I was aware of this since I was a librarian, but it was not until 2009 and we were on a tour of the Holy Land that I visited his cave where it is said he translated holy scripture into the language of the people, which was then Latin. It took him 30 years. According to St. Augustine, St. Jerome had a remarkable knowledge not only of Latin and Greek, but also of Hebrew and Chaldaic, and had read almost every author. He translated the Old Testament from the Hebrew, and, at the command of Pope Damasus, the New Testament from the Greek. Besides this, he translated into Latin the writings of many learned men, and enriched Christian learning from his own pen.
He wrote many letters over 50 years which document the history of religious controversies and squabbles among Christians about scripture (imagine that!) and also his own sarcastic and sharp temperament.
And today we think we've accomplished something if we send a text or hit send on a blog or Facebook post. Even librarians, who should know better.

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