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The Homilies of Saint Jerome, Volume 1 (1–59 on the Psalms)

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This volume contains 59 homilies preached by St. Jerome on selected Psalms. Jerome’s knowledge of the “three Sacred Languages,” Latin, Greek and Hebrew, his acquaintance with the exegetical methods of Antioch and Alexandria, his use of Origen’s Hexapla and his work on the Psalter are impressive credentials for the quality of these works.

As far as can be determined now these homilies were intended primarily for the instruction and edification of the monastic community that Jerome had established in Bethlehem where he spent the closing years of his life. They were recorded by scribes in the audience, and consequently the text may at times reflect the inadequacies of the listener.

Whether all the homilies that appear here are extemporaneous products of Jerome’s vast erudition and eloquence is a question that still awaits a satisfactory answer. Some scholars believe that an affirmative answer is correct, others citing the evidence of Homily 69 on Psalm 91, think that the content of some homilies is too deeply theological to be an impromptu composition. In any event, some patristic scholars have been bold enough to declare Jerome the most learned Latin Father of the Church.

For The Fathers of the Church series in its entirety, see Fathers of the Church Series (127 vols.).

Key Features

  • Worshipful sermons on the Psalms
  • Written for use by a group of monks in Bethlehem
  • One of 127 published volumes in a well-respected series on the Church Fathers

Top Highlights

“Unhappy the man whom God hates! Whom does God hate? The evildoer. But if we are all sinners and every sinner is hated by God, it would naturally follow that we are all hated by God. If, however, we are all hated by God, how is it that we have been saved by grace?17 ‘You hate all evildoers.’ The psalmist did not say, those who have been guilty of wrongdoing, but those who are wrongdoers. Those who persevere in sin are those who are held in abhorrence by God, but those who abandon the ways of sin are loved by the Lord. ‘You hate all evildoers.’ These words are intended for sinners who are persisting in sin.” (Pages 18–19)

“Blessed the peacemakers, not only those who restore peace among the quarrelsome, but those who establish peace in themselves. Blessed the peacemakers. If others engage in strife and I intercede and bring peace to them, yet do not have peace in my heart, what benefit to me that they are at peace?” (Page 315)

“I think the Gospel is the body of Christ; Holy Writ, His teaching. When He says: ‘He who does not eat my flesh and drink my blood,’8 although the words may be understood in their mystical sense, nevertheless, I say the word of Scripture is truly the body of Christ and His blood;9 it is divine doctrine. If at any time we approach the Sacrament—the faithful understand what I mean—and a tiny crumb should fall, we are appalled. Even so, if at any time we hear the word of God, through which the body and blood of Christ is being poured into our ears, and we yield carelessly to distraction, how responsible are we not for our failing?” (Page 410)

About St. Jerome

St. Jerome (c. 347–30 September 420) (formerly Saint Hierom) was an Illyrian Catholic priest and apologist.


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    Digital list price: $39.99
    Save $9.00 (22%)