30 September 2023

Bishop Challoner's Meditations - October 1st


Consider first, that by this commandment God forbids all manner of wrong to our neighbour, in his goods, rights, or worldly possessions; whether by open violence or by fraud; by stealing or by overreaching; by cheating in buying or in selling, or in any other bargain; by keeping from him what is his, or not giving him his dues, or not paying just debts; or by any extortion whatsoever, or any usury in the loan of money, or other things; or by putting him to any unjust charges; or by spoiling or damaging what belongs to him. In all these cases there is an injustice committed, which is not only condemned in this divine precept, but by the natural and eternal law, written from the beginning in the heart of man, and by that great principle of morality which forbids us to do to any other what we would not have done to us. And yet how many ways are poor mortals daily guilty of breaking through this divine and eternal law, for the sake of this wretched mammon of worldly interest, the great god of this world; and that in spite both of law and gospel, honour and honesty, conscience and religion. And how often do they affect to deceive themselves herein with vain pleas and pretexts, intended on purpose to cloak their guilt, and to hide it, if possible, not only from others, but also from their own consciences; that so they may go on without disturbance in the way that leads to death, by persuading themselves that all is right. But God is not to be deceived, who has declared that 'the unjust shall never possess his kingdom,' 1 Cor. vi.9. O! examine yourselves, Christians, impartially upon this head of justice in your dealing with your neighbours; for there is nothing more easy than for you to deceive yourselves herein; the consequences of which would be most dreadful to your souls.

Consider 2ndly, that every breach of this commandment, by any one of these ways of wronging one's neighbour, is always followed by the strict obligation of making restitution or reparation the crime will never be forgiven. And how few think of this! Alas! how many of these restitutions will be yet to be made when time shall be no more, and when that which has been neglected on earth shall be exacted in hell. Ah! sinners, what a load then have you charged upon your own shoulders by your injustices! And how is it possible you should think so little of discharging it! O do not be too easy in persuading yourselves you have it not in your power to make this restitution; you cannot deceive the all-seeing eye of him who clearly discerns how much you might do, if you would but retrench all superfluities in your expenses, would truly take to heart this necessary duty of satisfying justice in the first place, and would use all possible industry and labour for that end.

Consider 3rdly, that though all injustice in general be hateful in the sight of God, there are some branches of it in particular which more loudly cry to heaven for vengeance; and more especially such as tend to oppress the poor by usury or extortion, or by making a handle of their necessity, to raise to them the price of the things they want, or by defrauding them of their wages or hire; or otherwise taking or keeping from them that which belongs to them. O how heinous are all these sins in the eyes of him who is the Father of the poor! They are like murder in his sight. There is a curse entailed upon all such substance as is gathered together by oppressing his children. And so there is upon all sacrilegious rapines, by which the church or temple of God, or his ministers, are defrauded of what is their due; or by which pious foundations or donations are diverted from the purposes of religion to profane uses. In all such cases God looks upon the wrong as done to himself, and will certainly revenge it both here and hereafter. All that gold which is brought into the coffers by robbing either the poor or the church, shall not only moulder away itself, but shall consume all the rest it shall find there, together with the master of it.

Conclude to beware of all manner of injustice, and to keep off at the greatest distance possible from it, as a mortal enemy, both to thy temporal and eternal welfare. Take heed lest the love of that idol mammon should at any time impose upon thee in this regard - thou are never secure from danger, as long as that idol is not cast out of thy heart. For as the wise man assures us, Ecclus. x. 10. 'there is not a more wicked thing than to love money, for such a one setteth even his own soul to sale.'

1 October, Antonio, Cardinal Bacci: Meditations For Each Day

The Month of the Holy Rosary

1. We should say the Rosary devoutly every day. This beautiful prayer is very pleasing to Our Lady, and the church is particularly anxious that we should recite it during the month of October. Families which say the Holy Rosary together can hope for a special blessing from God and for the maternal protection of Mary.

If possible, every family should gather together in the evening and recite the Rosary before an image of our Blessed Mother. If the parents set an example, their children will join them. It is consoling to come together after the toil and trouble of the day in order to confide our cares and hopes to Mary.

Do you say the Rosary every day? If you have neglected this pious practice, begin today. Do not plead lack of time. There is time for so many other things, so surely there is time to pray and to entrust ourselves in a special way to the protection of our heavenly Mother. The practice of reciting the Holy Rosary will win for you the blessing of God and the patronage of the Blessed Virgin.

2. One of the main advantages of the Rosary is that it enables us to unite with our vocal prayer meditation on the principal mysteries of our faith. During each decade we should meditate briefly on one of these mysteries. In this way our faith will be enlivened and we shall be roused to imitate in our lives the example of Jesus and Mary.

The Rosary is composed of the Church’s most beautiful prayers – the Our Father, which Jesus Himself taught us to say when addressing our heavenly Father, and the Hail Mary, which consists of the Angel’s greeting to the Blessed Virgin when he came to announce to her that she was to be the Mother of God, of the inspired words of St. Elizabeth on the occasion of the Visitation, and of the moving plea for mercy, both now and at the hour of our death, which the Church places upon the lips of her sinful children. Each decade concludes with the short hymn of praise in honour of the Blessed Trinity: “Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost; as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.” This prayer expresses the two principal mysteries of our faith, namely, the unity and trinity of God, and, in an indirect fashion, the incarnation of the Second Divine Person.

If we think of all this when we are fervently reciting the Rosary, it will prove to be a treasury of grace.

3. It is untrue to say that the Rosary is a monotonous prayer in that it necessitates a constant repetition of the same formulae. In the first place, recitation of these prayers should be accompanied by meditation on the principal mysteries of our religion. Secondly, if we are inspired by love, the repetition of the same words can draw from them each time a new significance. The Christian who loves God and His Divine Mother will be happy to call his heavenly Father with filial confidence and to pray to the Blessed Virgin with trust in her maternal protection. An affectionate son does not find it boring to speak with his own mother.

Eastern Rite - Feasts of 1 October AM 7532

Today is the Eighteenth Sunday After Pentecost and the Feasts of the Protection of the Most Holy Mother of God, of the Holy Apostle Ananias, One of the Seventy Disciples, and of Our Venerable Father Roman Who Sang Sweetly.

The Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos: “Today the Virgin stands in the midst of the Church, and with choirs of Saints she invisibly prays to God for us. Angels and Bishops venerate Her, Apostles and prophets rejoice together, Since for our sake she prays to the Eternal God!”

This miraculous appearance of the Mother of God occurred in the mid-tenth century in Constantinople, in the Blachernae church where her robe, veil, and part of her belt were preserved after being transferred from Palestine in the fifth century.

On Sunday, October 1, during the All-Night Vigil, when the church was overflowing with those at prayer, the Fool-for-Christ Saint Andrew (October 2), at the fourth hour, lifted up his eyes towards the heavens and beheld our most Holy Lady Theotokos coming through the air, resplendent with heavenly light and surrounded by an assembly of the Saints. Saint John the Baptist and the holy Apostle John the Theologian accompanied the Queen of Heaven. On bended knees, the Most Holy Virgin tearfully prayed for Christians for a long time. Then, coming near the Bishop’s Throne, she continued her prayer.

After completing her prayer she took her veil and spread it over the people praying in church, protecting them from enemies both visible and invisible. The Most Holy Lady Theotokos was resplendent with heavenly glory, and the protecting veil in her hands gleamed “more than the rays of the sun.” Saint Andrew gazed trembling at the miraculous vision and he asked his disciple, the blessed Epiphanius standing beside him, “Do you see, brother, the Holy Theotokos, praying for all the world?” Epiphanius answered, “I do see, holy Father, and I am in awe.”

The Ever-Blessed Mother of God implored the Lord Jesus Christ to accept the prayers of all the people calling on His Most Holy Name and to respond speedily to her intercession, “O Heavenly King, accept all those who pray to You and call on my name for help. Do not let them go away from my icon unheard.”

Saints Andrew and Epiphanius were worthy to see the Mother of God at prayer, and “for a long time observed the Protecting Veil spread over the people and shining with flashes of glory. As long as the Most Holy Theotokos was there, the Protecting Veil was also visible, but with her departure it also became invisible. After taking it with her, she left behind the grace of her visitation.”

At the Blachernae church, the memory of the miraculous appearance of the Mother of God was remembered. In the fourteenth century, the Russian pilgrim and clerk Alexander, saw in the church an icon of the Most Holy Theotokos praying for the world, depicting Saint Andrew in contemplation of her.

The Primary Chronicle of Saint Nestor reflects that the protective intercession of the Mother of God was needed because of an attack of a large pagan Russian fleet under the leadership of Askole and Dir. The feast celebrates the divine destruction of the fleet which threatened Constantinople itself, sometime in the years 864-867 or according to the Russian historian Vasiliev, on June 18, 860. Ironically, this Feast is considered important by the Slavic Churches but not by the Greeks.

The Primary Chronicle of Saint Nestor also notes the miraculous deliverance followed an all-night Vigil and the dipping of the garment of the Mother of God into the waters of the sea at the Blachernae church but does not mention Saints Andrew and Epiphanius and their vision of the Mother of God at prayer. These latter elements, and the beginnings of the celebration of the Feast of the Protection, seem to postdate Saint Nestor and the Chronicle. A further historical complication might be noted under (October 2) dating Saint Andrew’s death to the year 936.

The year of death might not be quite reliable, or the assertion that he survived to a ripe old age after the vision of his youth, or that his vision involved some later pagan Russian raid which met with the same fate. The suggestion that Saint Andrew was a Slav (or a Scythian according to other sources, such as S. V. Bulgakov) is interesting, but not necessarily accurate. The extent of Slavic expansion and repopulation into Greece is the topic of scholarly disputes.

In the PROLOGUE, a Russian book of the twelfth century, a description of the establishment of the special Feast marking this event states, “For when we heard, we realized how wondrous and merciful was the vision... and it transpired that Your holy Protection should not remain without festal celebration, O Ever-Blessed One!”

Therefore, in the festal celebration of the Protection of the Mother of God, the Russian Church sings, “With the choirs of the Angels, O Sovereign Lady, with the venerable and glorious prophets, with the First-Ranked Apostles and with the Hieromartyrs and Hierarchs, pray for us sinners, glorifying the Feast of your Protection in the Russian Land.” Moreover, it would seem that Saint Andrew, contemplating the miraculous vision was a Slav, was taken captive, and became the slave of the local inhabitant of Constantinople named Theognostus.

Churches in honour of the Protection of the Mother of God began to appear in Russia in the twelfth century. Widely known for its architectural merit is the temple of the Protection at Nerl, which was built in the year 1165 by holy Prince Andrew Bogoliubsky. The efforts of this holy prince also established in the Russian Church the Feast of the Protection of the Mother of God, about the year 1164.

At Novgorod in the twelfth century, there was a monastery of the Protection of the Most-Holy Theotokos (the so-called Zverin monastery) In Moscow also under Tsar Ivan the Terrible the cathedral of the Protection of the Mother of God was built at the church of the Holy Trinity (known as the church of Saint Basil the Blessed).

On the Feast of the Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos, we implore the defence and assistance of the Queen of Heaven, “Remember us in your prayers, O Lady Virgin Mother of God, that we do not perish by the increase of our sins. Protect us from every evil and from grievous woes, for in you do we hope, and venerating the Feast of your Protection, we magnify you.”

Troparion — Tone 4

Today the faithful celebrate the feast with joy / illumined by your coming, O Mother of God. / Beholding your pure image we fervently cry to you: / “Encompass us beneath the precious veil of your protection; / deliver us from every form of evil by entreating Christ, / your Son and our God that He may save our souls.”

Kontakion — Tone 3

Today the Virgin stands in the midst of the Church / and with choirs of saints she invisibly prays to God for us. / Angels and bishops worship, / apostles and prophets rejoice together, / since for our sake she prays to the pre-eternal God.

The Holy Apostle Ananias of the Seventy was the first Bishop of Damascus. The Lord ordered him to restore the sight of Saul, the former persecutor of Christians, then baptize him (Acts 9:10-19, 22:12). Saul became the great preacher and Apostle Paul. Saint Ananias boldly and openly confessed Christianity before the Jews and the pagans, despite the danger.

From Damascus, he went to preach at Eleutheropolis, where he healed many of their infirmities. Lucian, the prefect of the city, tried to persuade the holy one to offer sacrifice to idols. Because of Ananias’ staunch and solid confession of Christ, Lucian ordered that he be tortured. Harsh torments did not sway the witness of Truth. Then the torturers led him out beyond the city, where they stoned him. The saint prayed for those who put him to death. His relics were later transferred to Constantinople.

Troparion — Tone 3

Holy Apostle Ananias, / entreat the merciful God, / to grant our souls forgiveness of transgressions.

Saint Romanus the Melodist was born in the fifth century in the Syrian city of Emesa of Jewish parents. After moving to Constantinople, he became a church sacristan in the temple of Hagia Sophia. The monk spent his nights alone at prayer in a field or in the Blachernae church beyond the city.

Saint Romanus was not a talented reader or singer. Once, on the eve of the Nativity of Christ, he read the kathisma verses. He read so poorly that another reader had to take his place. The clergy ridiculed Romanus, which devastated him.

On the day of the Nativity, the Mother of God appeared to the grief-stricken youth in a vision while he was praying before her Kyriotissa icon. She gave him a scroll and commanded him to eat it. Thus was he given the gift of understanding, composition, and hymnography.

That evening at the all-night Vigil Saint Romanus sang, in a wondrous voice, his first Kontakion: “Today the Virgin gives birth to the Transcendent One...” All the hymns of Saint Romanus became known as kontakia, in reference to the Virgin’s scroll. Saint Romanus was also the first to write in the form of the Oikos, which he incorporated into the all-night Vigil at his places of residence (In Greek, “oikos”).

For his zealous service, Saint Romanus was ordained as a deacon and became a teacher of song. Until his death, which occurred about the year 556, the hierodeacon Romanus the Melodist composed nearly a thousand hymns, many of which are still used by Christians to glorify the Lord. About eighty survive.

Troparion — Tone 4

You gladdened Christ’s Church by your melodies / like an inspired heavenly trumpet. / You were enlightened by the Mother of God / and shone on the world as God’s poet. / We lovingly honor you, righteous Romanus.

Kontakion — Tone 8

You were adorned from childhood with the godly virtues of the Spirit; / you were a precious adornment of the Church of Christ, all-wise Romanus, / for you made it lovely with beautiful hymnody. / Therefore, we entreat you, grant your divine gift to those who desire it, / that we may cry out to you: “Rejoice, all-blessed Father, the beauty of the Church.”


IN LUMINE FIDEI: 1 OCTOBER – SAINT REMIGIUS (Bishop and Confessor): Saint Remigius baptising King Clovis of the Franks Remigius (also called Remedius) was born in about 435 AD at Laon of noble parents...


IN LUMINE FIDEI: 1 OCTOBER – EIGHTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST: Dom Prosper Guéranger: The paralytic carrying his bed is the subject of this day’s Gospel, and gives the eighteenth Sunday after Pentec...


IN LUMINE FIDEI: OCTOBER – THE MONTH OF THE HOLY ROSARY: According to tradition the Rosary was revealed to Saint Dominic (1170 ‒ 1221), the founder of the Dominican Order (the Order of Fri...

1 October, The Chesterton Calendar


Of all the tests by which the good citizen and strong reformer can be distinguished from the vague faddist or the inhuman sceptic, I know no better test than this—that the unreal reformer sees in front of him one certain future, the future of his fad; while the real reformer sees before him ten or twenty futures among which his country must choose, and may in some dreadful hour choose the wrong one. The true patriot is always doubtful of victory; because he knows that he is dealing with a living thing; a thing with free will. To be certain of free will is to be uncertain of success.

Introduction to 'American Notes.'

1 October, The Holy Rule of St Benedict, Patriarch of Western Monasticism

CHAPTER VII. Of Humility

31 Jan. 1 June. 1 Oct.

The third degree of humility is, that a man for the love of God submit himself to his superior in all obedience; imitating the Lord, of Whom the apostle saith: “He was made obedient even unto death.”

2 October, The Roman Martyrology

Sexto Nonas Octóbris Luna décima séptima Anno Dómini 2023

The morrow is the feast of the Holy Guardian Angels.
October 2nd 2023, the 17th day of the Moon, were born into the better life:

At Nicomedia, the holy soldier Eleutherius, and an unnumbered multitude of others, all martyrs.
When the palace of the Emperor Diocletian was burnt, they were falsely accused of the crime of setting it on fire and by the command of that most cruel Emperor they were slaughtered in crowds some were slain with the sword, some were burnt in the fire, and some were cast into the sea. But the first of them was Eleutherius, who was long tortured, but at every new torment seemed to grow more steadfast, like gold tried in the fire, and crowned his testimony with victory.
In the country of Arras, the blessed Leodegar, Bishop of Autun, (in the year 678,) who was murdered by Ebroin, mayor of the palace to King Theodoric, after he had laid upon him diverse insults and sufferings for the truth's sake.
Likewise the holy martyr Gerin, brother of the said blessed Leodegar, who was stoned to death at the same place.
At Antioch, the holy martyrs Primus, Cyril, and Secondarius.
At Constantinople, the holy Monk Theophilus, who was cruelly scourged and sent into exile, under the Emperor Leo the Isaurian, for defending holy images, and passed away to be ever with the Lord.
At Hereford, in England, the holy Confessor Thomas, Bishop of that see, whose feast we keep upon the 3rd day of this present month of October.
℣. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.
℟. Thanks be to God.

Meme of the Moment


From St Thomas Aquinas Seminary. You may follow the Office at Divinum Officium.

The Holy Rosary

Saturday, the Glorious Mysteries, in Latin with Cardinal Burke.

Marie Antoinette Part 3 - TRIAL and EXECUTION

The Ottaviani Intervention - Background to the Study

Every Traditionalist or 'reform of the reform' critic of the Novus Ordo Missæ of Paul VI should be familiar with this document.

One of the most important critiques ever made of the Novus Ordo Missae.

On September 25, 1969, Alfredo Cardinal Ottaviani, prefect-emeritus of the Sacred Congregation for the Faith, sent a letter to Pope Paul VI. Accompanying the letter was a theological “Study of the New Order of the Mass” (Novus Ordo Missae), written by a group of Roman theologians. Cardinal Ottaviani’s letter was a plea to His Holiness “not to deprive us of the possibility of continuing to have recourse to the fruitful integrity of that Missale Romanum of St. Pius V so highly praised by Your Holiness and so deeply loved and venerated by the whole Catholic world.” It was apparently in response to the Ottaviani Intervention that Pope Paul subsequently ordered a delay of two years in the deadline for mandatory implementation of the new Ordo.

A little known fact about the creation of this study was that Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre chaired the working committee that drafted it. Historical details about this important event can be found in Marcel Lefebvre: The Biography by Bishop Bernard Tissier de Mallerais.[1]

As briefly related by Fr. Ramon Angles in his transcribed conference, “A Short History of the Society of St. Pius X”:[2]

On April 3, 1969, the apostolic constitution Missale Romanum presented a new order of the Mass. Archbishop Lefebvre gathered together a group of 12 theologians who wrote under his direction, "A Short Critical Study of the Novus Ordo Missae" often called the "Ottaviani Intervention". Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci wrote indeed an introduction and presented the study to Paul VI. Since no response came from the Vatican, the archbishop announces to his small group of seminarians, June 10, 1971, that he refuses to accept this new protestantized liturgy:


'How can I agree to abandon the Mass of All Time or to admit to place it at the same level as the Novus Ordo, created by Annibal Bugnini, with the participation of Protestants to make of it an equivocal supper that eliminates totally the Offertory, and touches the very words of the Consecration.'"


Erick Ybarra on Papal Error

Argentinian Bishop Warns Of Poisonous Evil Of Francis' Synod

St Jerome’s Strong Words to Priests Seeking Fame and Fortune

In this day of 'celebrity Priests', modernist, conservative and Trad, these are words of wisdom from a Saint who, because of his temper, was unlikely to be a celebrity.

From Aleteia

By Philip Kosloski

The cranky St. Jerome didn't mince words when writing about the duties of priests and the temptation of fame.

St. Jerome was a straight shooter when it came to speaking the truth, not afraid of what anyone thought about him. Most often his words drew the ire of his fellow priests.

This can be seen clearly in a letter to the priest Nepotian, who abandoned the military for the clerical calling. St. Jerome wrote extensively about the duties of a priest and had harsh words for those who sought fame and fortune.

Under Christ’s banner seek for no worldly gain, lest having more than when you first became a clergyman, you hear men say, to your shame, Their portion shall not profit them. Welcome poor men and strangers to your homely board, that with them Christ may be your. A clergyman who engages in business, and who rises from poverty to wealth, and from obscurity to a high position, avoid as you would the plague.

St. Jerome had a preference for the poor, not only in ministering to them, but also for the simplicity of ministers. He believed a priest should be humble and not seek after wealth.

It is the glory of a bishop to make provision for the wants of the poor; but it is the shame of all priests to amass private fortunes.

When it comes to accepting large donations for personal needs, St. Jerome urges priests to refuse them.

Let us never seek for presents and rarely accept them when we are asked to do so. For it is more blessed to give than to receive … Showiness and slovenliness are alike to be shunned; for the one savors of vanity and the other of pride. To go about without a linen scarf on is nothing: what is praiseworthy is to be without money to buy one. It is disgraceful and absurd to boast of having neither napkin nor handkerchief and yet to carry a well-filled purse.

Above all, St. Jerome tried to express in his letter that a priest should practice what he preaches, being a poor man among the poor, serving them and seeking no earthly fame.

SSt Jerome

Holy Mass for today from Sacred Heart Church, Limerick, Ireland, ICKSP. You may follow the Mass at Divinum Officium.

The Life of St Jerome

From The Golden Legend of Blessed Jacobus Voragine (ca. 1260) translated by William Caxton in 1483.


erome was the son of a noble man named Eusebius, born of the town Stridon, which is in the utter end of Dalmatia and of Pannonia. He, being yet a child, went to Rome and was there taught in letters of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew. He had for his teacher in grammar Donatus, in rhetoric Victorinus, the orator, and he was day and night occupied, and exercised himself in divine Scriptures, which he drew covetously,eagerly imbibed and after shed it out abundantly.


And as he writeth in an epistle to Eustochius, that on a time as he read on a day Plato, and in the night Tully desirously, because that the book of the prophets pleased him not, he was about mid-Lent taken with a sudden and burning fever, that all his body was cold, in such wise that there was no vital heat save a little which he felt in his breast. And as the exequies for his death were making ready, he was suddenly brought to the judgment of God, and there he was demanded of what condition he was, and he answered boldly that he was a Christian man. And the judge said: Thou liest, thou art a Ciceronian, and no Christian man. Whereas thy treasure is, there is thy heart.

Then St. Jerome was still and said nothing, and anon then the judge commended that he should be sore beaten. Then he cried and said: Have mercy on me, Lord, have mercy on me.

Then they that were assisting our Lord prayed him that he would forgive this young man his trespass. And he then began to swear and say: Lord, if ever I read or hear more secular books, I shall forsake thee.

And with the words of this promise and oath he was let go.

And anon he revived. And then he saw himself all bewept. And of the strokes of the beatings that he received tofore the throne of our Lord, the tokens of the strokes and lashes were seen on his shoulders right horrible and great. And from then forthon he became good, and read divine books with as great study as ever he had read the books of poetry and of paynims.


And when he was nine-and-twenty years old he was ordained cardinal priest in the church of Rome. And when Liberius was dead all the people cried to have St. Jerome sovereign priest. And when he began to blame the jollity and lavish life of some clerks and monks, they had indignation and despite of him, and lay in a wait to hurt and slander him. And as John Beleth saith: They scorned and mocked him by the clothing of a woman. For on a night when he arose to matins, as he was accustomed, he found a woman's clothing lying by his bed which his enemies had laid there. And he weening that they had been his own, did them on, and so clothed came in to the church, and this did they that had envy at him because others should ween that he had a woman in his chamber.


And when he saw that, he eschewed their woodness and went unto Gregory Nazianzen, bishop of Constantinople. And when he had learned of him the holy Scripture and holy letters, he went into desert. Where, what, and how much he suffered for Christ's sake, he recounted to Eustochium and said that when he was in that great desert and waste wilderness, which is so burnt by the sun that it gave to the monks a right dry habitacle:
. . . I supposed me then to be at Rome among the delices, and my members scalded, burnt, made dry and black like to the skin of a Morian or an Ethiopian, and I was always in tears and weepings. And when the very sleep came and oppressed me against which I oft repugned, then I laid my dried bones on the bare earth. Of meats and drink I speak not, for they that were sick used only cold water, and for to take any thing boiled or roasted, it was to them lechery.

And yet nevertheless I was oft fellow unto scorpions and wild beasts, and yet the carols of maidens and the embracements of lechery grew in my cold body and in my flesh, wherefore I wept continually, and for to adaunt and subdue my proud flesh I rose at midnight all the week long, joining oft the night with the day, and I ceased not to beat my breast, praying our Lord to render to me the peaceable peace of my flesh.

And I also doubted my proper cell as fearing my conceits and thoughts, wherefore I went and departed wroth, and revenging myself, passed alone through the sharp and thick deserts. And as our Lord is witness, after many weepings and tears, it seemed to me that I was among the company of angels, this during four years.


Then his penance thus done, he returned to the town of Bethlehem, where, as a wise and a prudent beast, he offered himself to abide by the crib of our Lord. And then his holy Bible, which with study he had translated, and other books he read, and led the day forth with fasting unto even. And there he assembled many disciples unto him for to labour there in his holy purpose, and abode there in the translation of holy Scripture fifty-five years and six months, and remained a pure virgin unto the end of his life.

And how well that it be said in his legend that he was ever a virgin, yet nevertheless he wrote of himself to Palmatian: I bear virginity into heaven, not for that I have virginity, but for I marvel more that I have it not.

Then at the last he being weary for to travail, lay down in his bed wherover hung a cord on a beam, whereon he laid and held his hands for to lift up himself that he might do the service of God as much as he might.


On a day towards even Jerome sat with his brethren for to hear the holy lesson, and a lion came halting suddenly in to the monastery, and when the brethren saw him, anon they fled, and Jerome came against him as he should come against his guest, and then the lion showed to him his foot being hurt. Then he called his brethren, and commanded them to wash his feet and diligently to seek and search for the wound. And that done, the plant of the foot of the lion was sore hurt and pricked with a thorn. Then this holy man put thereto diligent cure, and healed him, and he abode ever after as a tame beast with them.

Then St. Jerome saw that God had sent him to them, not only for the health of his foot, but also for their profit, and joined to the lion an office, by the accord of his brethren, and that was that he should conduct and lead an ass to his pasture which brought home wood, and should keep him going and coming, and so he did. For he did that which he was commanded, and led the ass thus as a herdsman, and kept him wisely going and coming, and was to him a right sure keeper and defender, and always at the hour accustomed he and the ass came for to have their refection and for to make the ass to do the work accustomed.

On a time it happed that the ass was in his pasture, and the lion slept fast, and certain merchants passed by with camels and saw the ass alone, and stole him and led him away. And anon after, the lion awoke and when he found not his fellow, he ran groaning hither and thither, and when he saw that he could not find him he was much sorrowful and durst not come in, but abode at the gate of the church of the monastery, and was ashamed that he came without the ass.

And when the brethren saw that he was come more late than he was wont, and without the ass, they supposed that by constraint of hunger he had eaten the ass, and would not give to him his portion accustomed, and said to him: Go and eat that other part of the ass that thou hast devoured, and fill thy gluttony.

And because they doubted, and they would wit if he had so eaten, they went to the pastures of the town to see if they could have any demonstrance of the death of the ass, and they found nothing, and returned and told it to Jerome, and then he commanded them to enjoin him to do the office of the ass. Then they hewed down bushes and boughs and laid upon him, and he suffered it peaceably.

And on a day when he had done his office, he went out to the fields and began to run hither and thither desiring to know what was done to his fellow, and saw from far merchants that came with camels charged and laden, and the ass going tofore them. It was the manner of that region that when the people went far with camels, they had an ass or a horse going tofore with a cord about his neck for to conduct the better the camels.

And when the lion knew the ass, with a great roaring he ran on them so terribly that all the merchants fled, and he so feared the camels with beating the earth with his tail that he constrained them to go straight unto the cell with all their charge and lading.

And when the brethren saw this they told it to Jerome, and he said: Brethren, wash the feet of our guests and give them meat; abide ye the will of our Lord hereupon.

And then the lion began to run joyously throughout all the monastery, as he was wont to do, and kneeled down to every brother and fawned them with his tail, like as he had demanded pardon of the trespass that he had done. And St. Jerome, which knew well what was to come, said to his brethren: Go and make ye ready all things necessary for guests that be coming to us.

And as he thus said, there came to him a messenger, saying to him that there were guests at the gate that would speak with the abbot. And as soon as they were come they kneeled to the abbot, and required of him pardon. And he raised and made them to stand up goodly, and commanded them to take their own good[s], and not to take away other men's. And then they prayed the holy saint that he would take the half of their oil, and he refused it. And at the last he commanded to take a measure of oil, and then they promised that they should bring every year a measure of oil to that church, and their heirs after them.


It was anciently the custom that whosomever would might sing in the church, so that Theodosius the emperor, as John Beleth saith, required and prayed Damasus the pope that he would commit to some wise man of the church to ordain the office and ordinal of the church. And then he knew well that Jerome was a man that knew the languages of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew, and in all science, and committed to him the said sovereign office. And then Jerome divided the psalter by ferias, and to every feria a nocturn1 proper be assigned, and established in the end of every psalm to be said: Gloria patri [Glory be to the father]. And after, he ordained reasonably to be sung the epistles and gospels, and all other things appertaining, save the song which he sent from Bethlehem unto the pope. Which all was approved and ratified of him and of the cardinals for to be used perpetually and so confirmed.


After this, in the mouth of the spelunke (or cave) in which our Lord lay, he did do make his monument or sepulture. And when he had accomplished eighty-eight years and six months he was there buried.


In what reverence St. Austin had him in, it appeareth in his epistles that he sent to him, in one of the which he wrote in this manner: "To his right dear friend; most best beloved and most clean in observing and embracing of chastity, unto Jerome, Austin, etc." And in another place he writeth thus of him: "St. Jerome, priest, learned in letters of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew, and in holy writings approved unto his last age, of whom the nobleness of his fair eloquence hath resplended from the east unto the west, like unto the clearness of the sun.”

Prosper saith also of him in his Chronicles: Jerome, priest, was in Bethlehem sometime, clear to all the world, of noble engine, and lived in translating and writing of holy Scripture, and with high and noble study served the universal church.

He said also of himself to Albigen: I never enforced me so much from mine infancy as for to eschew a swelling courage and enhanced head, and calling against him the hate of God. And ever I have dreaded the sure things, and have entended with all my heart to the monastery and to hospitality and have received gladly all comers save heretics, and have washed their feet.

Isidore saith thus in the book of Etymology: Jerome was wise in three languages, whose interpretation is taken tofore other, for it is more holding and clear by words and it is interpreted of a very Christian.

It is written also of Jerome in the dialogue of Severus, disciple of St. Martin, which was in his time: Jerome without the merit of the faith and dowry of virtues is not only instruct in letters of Latin, but in Greek and Hebrew, so that none ought to be compared to him in every science, the which had war perpetual against the wicked men. The heretics hated him for he left never to impugn against them, the clerks hated him for he reproved their sins and their life, but plainly good men loved him and marvelled of him, for they that deemed him a heretic were mad. He was all in lessons, all in books, he never rested day ne night but always read or wrote. Hæc Severus.

And like as it appeareth by these words, and also he witnesseth himself, he suffered many persecutors and detractors, which persecutions he suffered patiently and goodly, as it appeared in an epistle that he sent to Assela: I give thankings to our Lord God that I am worthy that the world hate me, and that wicked men and janglers hold me for evil. For I know well that men come to heaven by the defaming of wicked men more than by good renomee, and I would that the company of miscreants should pursue and persecute me for the name and right of our Lord. My will is that the reproof of the world arise more fervently against me so that I might deserve to be praised of our Lord, and that I may hope the reward of his promise. Temptation is desirous and agreeable whose merit in resisting is to be hoped reward of Christ in heaven. Ne the cursing ne malediction is not grievous which is changed into divine laud and praising.

He died about the year of our Lord three hundred and eighty-eight.