Gems From Saint Jerome   

Saint Jerome (347-420), one of the Fathers of the Church, was a most prolific writer, and defender of the Catholic Church. His Latin Vulgate was the first Bible to contain both Old and New Testaments. He is quoted by Catholics and non-Catholics alike.
Here are some of his "Gems".
"I follow no leader but Christ and join in communion with none but Your Blessedness, that is, with the chair of Peter. I know that this is the rock on which the Church has been built. Whoever eats the Lamb outside this house is profane. Anyone who is not in the ark of Noah will perish when the flood prevails."
Letter of Jerome to Pope Damasus, 374 A.D. 15,2 J1346
"He who is joined to the chair of Peter is accepted by me!"
Letter of Jerome to Pope Damasus, 374 A.D., 16,2 J1346a
"Yet, though your greatness terrifies me, your kindness attracts me. From the priest I demand the safe-keeping of the victim, from the shepherd the protection due to the sheep. Away with all that is overweening; let the state of Roman majesty withdraw. My words are spoken to the successor of the fisherman, to the disciple of the cross. As I follow no leader save Christ, so I communicate with none but your blessedness, that is with the chair of Peter. For this, I know, is the rock on which the church is built! This is the house where alone the paschal lamb can be rightly eaten. This is the ark of Noah, and he who is not found in it shall perish when the flood prevails. But since by reason of my sins I have betaken myself to this desert which lies between Syria and the uncivilized waste, I cannot, owing to the great distance between us, always ask of your sanctity the holy thing of the Lord. Consequently I here follow the Egyptian confessors who share your faith, and anchor my frail craft under the shadow of their great argosies. I know nothing of Vitalis; I reject Meletius; I have nothing to do with Paulinus. He that gathers not with you scatters; he that is not of Christ is of Antichrist."
Letter of Jerome to Pope Damasus, 376 A.D., 2
"Heretics bring sentence upon themselves since they by their own choice withdraw from the Church, a withdrawal which, since they are aware of it, constitutes damnation."
Commentaries on the Epistle to Titus, 376 A.D. 3,10 J1371a
"Christ Himself is a virgin; and His mother is also a virgin; yea, though she is His mother, she is a virgin still. For Jesus has entered in through the closed doors, and in His sepulchre--a new one hewn out of the hardest rock--no man is laid either before Him or after Him. Mary is "a garden enclosed ... a fountain sealed," and from that fountain flows, according to Joel, the river which waters the torrent bed either" of cords or of thorns; the cords being those of the sins by which we were beforetime bound, the thorns those which choked the seed the goodman of the house had sown. She is the east gate, spoken of by the prophet Ezekiel, always shut and always shining, and either concealing or revealing the Holy of Holies; and through her "the Sun of Righteousness," our "high priest after the order of Melchizedek," goes in and out. Let my critics explain to me how Jesus can have entered in through closed doors when He allowed His hands and His side to be handled, and showed that He had bones and flesh," thus proving that His was a true body and no mere phantom of one, and I will explain how the holy Mary can be at once a mother and a virgin. A mother before she was wedded, she remained a virgin after bearing her son. Therefore, as I was going to say, the virgin Christ and the virgin Mary have dedicated in themselves the first fruits of virginity for both sexes."
Letter of Jerome to Pammachius, 393 A.D., 21
"I thank you for your reminder concerning the canons of the Church. Truly, "whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth." Still I would assure you that nothing is more my aim than to maintain the rights of Christ, to keep to the lines laid down by the fathers, and always to remember the faith of Rome; that faith which is praised by the lips of an apostle, and of which the Alexandrian church boasts to be a sharer."
Letter of Jerome to Pope Theophilus, 397 A.D., 2
"Just as in the Old Testament the priest makes the leper clean or unclean, so in the New Testament the bishop and presbyter binds or looses not those who are innocent or guilty, but by reason of their office, when they have heard the various kinds of sins, they know who is to be bound and who loosed."
Commentaries on the Gospel of Matthew, 398 A.D. 3,16,9 J1386
"That is to say, he has set in the forefront of his book John, an undoubted Catholic and saint, by his means to introduce to the church the heretics mentioned farther on. But who can adequately characterize the rashness or madness which has led him to ascribe a book of the Pythagorean philosopher Xystus, a heathen who knew nothing of Christ, to Sixtus a martyr and bishop of the Roman church?"
Letter to Caetesiphon 415 A.D.
"That you fight Christ's battles against the enemies of the Catholic Faith your own letters have informed me as well as the reports of many persons, but I am told that you find the winds contrary and that those who ought to have been the world's champions have backed the cause of perdition to each other's ruin."
Letter to Riparius, 417 A.D.
"The truth is that all we who hold the Catholic faith, wish and long that, while the heresy is condemned, the men may be reformed. At all events, if they will continue in error, the blame does not attach to us who have written, but to them, since they have preferred a lie to the truth."
Against the Pelagians, 417 A.D., book I-2
"He slays a heretic who allows him to be a heretic. But when we rebuke him we give him life; you may die to your heresy, and live to the Catholic faith."
Against the Pelagians, 417 A.D., book III-17
"Jude, the brother of James, left a short epistle which is reckoned among the seven Catholic epistles, and because in it he quotes from the apocryphal book of Enoch it is rejected by many. Nevertheless by age and use it has gained authority and is reckoned among the Holy Scriptures."
De viris Illustribus 4, 400 A.D.
"Clement, of whom the apostle Paul writing to the Philippians says "With Clement and others of my fellow-workers whose names are written in the book of life, "the fourth bishop of Rome after Peter, if indeed the second was Linus and the third Anacletus, although most of the Latins think that Clement was second after the apostle. He wrote, on the part of the church of Rome, an especially valuable Letter to the church of the Corinthians, which in some places is publicly read, and which seems to me to agree in style with the epistle to the Hebrews which passes under the name of Paul but it differs from this same epistle, not only in many of its ideas, but also in respect of the order of words, and its likeness in either respect is not very great. There is also a second Epistle under his name which is rejected by earlier writers, and a Disputation between Peter and Appion written out at length, which Eusebius in the third book of his Church history rejects. He died in the third year of Trajan and a church built at Rome preserves the memory of his name unto this day."
De viris Illustribus 15, 400 A.D.
"Optatus the African, bishop of Milevis, during the reign of the Emperors Valentinianus and Valens, wrote in behalf of the Catholic party six books against the calumny of the Donatian party, in which he asserts that the crime of the Donatists is falsely charged upon the Catholic party."
De viris Illustribus 110, 400 A.D.
"You are renowned throughout the whole world; Catholics revere and look up to you as the restorer of the ancient faith, and -- which is a token of yet more illustrious glory -- all heretics abhor you."
Letter to Augustine, 418 A.D.

Several non-Catholics have quoted to me from writings of Saint Jerome. From the samplings which I have shown here, if I were a non-Catholic, and was determined to remain one, I would not ever quote from him again.

Compiled August 24, 2001

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