Today the church remembers Jerome, Priest, and Monk of Bethlehem, 420.Jerome is chiefly remembered as the translator of the most famous and widely used version of the Bible ever published, the Latin Vulgate. In the sixth century most people in Western Europe spoke Latin, yet there was not an accurate or complete Latin text of the Bible. Jerome translated the entire Bible into Latin from its original Hebrew and Greek. He translated the sacred text into the common language of his day, called "vulgar" Latin. In time this work came to be regarded as a classic, but when it was published it was the subject of considerable controversy. A native of Stridon, Italy, Jerome traveled widely and was educated in Rome, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Alexandria. He got involved in practically every important issue of his day and was one of the most vehement adversaries of the Arian and Pelagian heresies. His correspondence reflects a strong faith and a sound mind as well as a passion for truth and integrity. He settled finally in Bethlehem as the head of a monastic community. One of history's greatest scholars and translators became a great pastor. "Now," he said, "we have to translate the words of scripture into deeds!" Help us to make your timeless Word accessible in our own time. Amen.
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O Lord, O God of truth, your Word is a lantern to our feet and a light upon our path: We give you thanks for your servant Jerome, and those who, following in his steps, have labored to render the Holy Scriptures in the language of the people; and we pray that your Holy Spirit will overshadow us as we read the written Word, and that Christ, the living Word, will transform us according to your righteous will; through Jesus Christ our Lord who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.