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There are also Latin, Coptic, and Ethiopic versions, sometimes differing widely from the Greek.
"In the Ethiopic, with the omission of Thecla's admitted claim to preach and to baptize, half the point of the story is lost." The author sets this story during Paul the Apostle's First Missionary Journey, but this text is ideologically different from the New Testament portrayal of Paul.
In 1948, Antonio Barluzzi–the architect of the Holy Land–restored the church, creating the beautiful cloister that pilgrims encounter as they near the main entrance of the church.
A statue of the Virgin Mary looks out at pilgrims from atop the main entrance, and below her, a statue of St Jerome guards the courtyard, a book in his hand and a skull at his feet, reminding us of his great work and of the transience of our human existence.
Paul is given a full physical description that may reflect oral tradition: in the Syriac text "he was a man of middling size, and his hair was scanty, and his legs were a little crooked, and his knees were projecting, and he had large eyes and his eyebrows met, and his nose was somewhat long, and he was full of grace and mercy; at one time he seemed like a man, and at another time he seemed like an angel." Paul gave his sermons in the house of Onesiphorus (cp.
Jerome is the patron saint of librarians and of translators?
In Latin, his name is Hieronymus–which I love–and every September 30th, on the memorial of his death, translators around the world celebrate International Translation Day! Today, I’d like to show you to the cave in Bethlehem when he spent the last thirty years of his life, creating his translating Hebrew and Greek manuscripts into the Latin Vulgate Bible. The spiky Catherine wheel is named after her, although it didn’t end up killing her. The church is connected to Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity–they actually share a wall–where it is believed that Jesus was born.
Every book he owned, he had to copy with his own hand!
He was baptized in 365 AD, and in 373 AD he joined a colony of hermits in the desert east of Antioch–and not only did he bring his books with him, but he kept adding to his library! He finished his translation of the Bible in 404 AD, and in 416, his library was destroyed when Bethlehem was sacked by bandits. St Jerome is believed to have been the second most voluminous writer in ancient Latin Christianity.
Today, he rests at the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. Jerome is a great patron saint for those of us who love books and languages.