St. Jerome (/dʒəˈroʊm/; Latin: Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus; Greek: Εὐσέβιος Σωφρόνιος Ἱερώνυμος; c. 347 – 30 September 420) was a priest, confessor, theologian and historian, who also became a Doctor of the Church. St. Jerome was the son of Eusebius, born at Stridon, a village near Emona on the border of Dalmatia and Pannonia, then part of northeastern Italy. He is best known for his translation of most of the Bible into Latin (the translation that became known as the Vulgate), and his commentaries on the Gospels. His list of writings is extensive. The protégé of Pope Damasus I, who died in December of 384, St. Jerome was known for his teachings on Christian moral life, especially to those living in cosmopolitan centers such as Rome. In many cases, he focused his attention to the lives of women and identified how a woman devoted to Jesus should live her life. This focus stemmed from his close patron relationships with several prominent female ascetics who were members of affluent senatorial families.
St. Jerome is recognised as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Lutheran Church, and the Church of England (Anglican Communion).
St. Jerome is the second most voluminous writer (after Augustine of Hippo) in ancient Latin Christianity. In the Roman Catholic Church, he is recognized as the patron saint of translators, librarians and encyclopedists.
He acquired a knowledge of Hebrew by studying with a Jew who converted to Christianity, and took the unusual position (for that time) that the Hebrew, and not the Septuagint, was the inspired text of the Old Testament. The traditional view is that he used this knowledge to translate what became known as the Vulgate, and his translation was slowly but eventually accepted in the Catholic Church. The later resurgence of Hebrew studies within Christianity owes much to him.
He showed more zeal and interest in the ascetic ideal than in abstract speculation. It was this strict asceticism that made Martin Luther judge him so severely. In fact, Protestant readers are not generally inclined to accept his writings as authoritative. The tendency to recognize a superior comes out in his correspondence with Augustine (cf. Jerome’s letters numbered 56, 67, 102–105, 110–112, 115–116; and 28, 39, 40, 67–68, 71–75, 81–82 in Augustine’s).
Despite the criticisms already mentioned, Jerome has retained a rank among the western Fathers. This would be his due, if for nothing else, on account of the great influence exercised by his Latin version of the Bible upon the subsequent ecclesiastical and theological development.