|A typical image of Jerome portrays him as a naked hermit,|
either in the desert or at his books.
You would probably not find today's saint in that list.
|Jerome as a venerable prelate with his famous|
women disciples (the wealthy Roman Paula
and her daughter Eustachium) who followed
Jerome to Palestine and founded a monastery
Jerome was a man of great passion: he felt (and fought) the passions of the flesh intensely, but was just as passionate for the truth and for the Word of God (this is the man who single-handedly translated the entire Bible to put it within reach of ordinary people).
He is not a saint because he was a picture-perfect disciple of Jesus, but because he perseveringly struggled to be a disciple. This is a real encouragement for me, whether it is my own character flaws or those of the sisters around me that overwhelm me.
It is this very imperfection of Jerome that reminds me of something Blessed James Alberione once said: "When Jesus takes possession of a soul, its defects no longer count."