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The Homilies of Saint Jerome, Volume 2 (Homilies 60–96)

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This volume of the Homilies of Saint Jerome contains fifteen homilies on Saint Mark’s Gospel, Homilies 75–84. In general, as in volume 1, Morin’s text has been followed as reproduced in the Corpus Christianorum, series latina 78.

The editors of the Corpus have added two homilies, one delivered on the Feast of the Epiphany from the Gospel of our Lord’s baptism and on Psalm 28, edited by B. Capelle; the other on the First Sunday of Lent, edited by I. Fraipont. In the present volume, they are Homilies 89 and 90.

Dom Germain Morin, as noted in the Introduction of Volume 1 of this translation, discovered fourteen homilies, providing a second series on the Psalms, in four Italian Codices dating from the tenth and fifteenth centuries. He examined with great care their probable identity with, or relationship to, the lost homilies of Saint Jerome catalogues in De viris illustribus “on the Psalms, from the tenth to the sixteenth, seven homilies.” There is more work to be done and many problems to be resolved, however, before this identification can be established with certitude. This chief obstacle is that of chronology. The De viris illustibus was written in all probability in 392–393, whereas the homilies appear to have been written in 402, the date determined by the study of Dom Morin. Other scholars, as U. Moricca, A. Penna, G. Grützmacher, give 394 and 413 as the earliest and latest dates, respectively, for all the homilies.

There is question also whether the Septuagint or the Hebrew Psalter was in the hands of Jerome when he wrote or preached the homilies on Psalms 10 and 15. They seem, in fact, to have been written rather than delivered, for he speaks of readers rather than hearers. They differ from the regular series of sermons in their greater erudition, more sophisticated language, many Greek expressions, and variations from the Hexapla. The closing doxology so characteristic of the other sermons is missing in them. They are much longer, and Jerome speaks of certain details as if he had already explained them. On the whole, they give evidence, too, of greater care in preparation.

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

Key Features

  • Quality translations suitable for modern scholarship
  • Provides background on the author and discusses the texts Jerome had available
  • One of 127 published volumes in a well-respected series on the Church Fathers

Top Highlights

“What the Lord is saying, therefore, is this: My knowledge, deepest thought, and the inmost desire of My heart was with Me, not only in My heavenly mansions, but also when I dwelt in the night of this world and in darkness; it remained in Me as man, and it instructed Me, and never left Me, so that whatever the weakness of the flesh was unable to achieve, divine thought and power accomplished.” (Page 28)

“Plato deliberately set out, and Aristotle, too, and Zeno, the founder of Stoicism,13 and Epicurus, the advocate of pleasure, to whiten their sordid doctrine with dazzling white words. They could not, however, make garments as white as those of Jesus on the mountain; because they were of the earth, their treatises are all of earth. No fuller, therefore, no arbiter of secular literature, could fashion garments such as Jesus possesses on the mountain.” (Page 164)

“‘The man looked up, and said, ‘I see men as though they were trees, but walking about.’ ’ He is neither totally blind nor does he have the full use of his eyes. ‘I see men like trees walking about’; I still see shadow, not yet truth. The saying: ‘I see men as though they were trees, but walking,’ means: I see something in the Law, but I do not yet behold the clear light of the Gospel.” (Pages 156–157)

“Just as the apostles set the example for the priesthood, so John the Baptist set the example for monks.15” (Page 124)

“Everything the Jews do, they do for the sake of the present life; hence, they are hired men. ‘The man who carries out the Law will find life through it.’24 Scripture did not say, he will find life through it, in the sense that through the Law he will live in heaven, but he will find life through it to the extent that what he merits, he reaps in the present world. It is written for a fact in Ezechiel: ‘I gave them statutes that were not good and regulations not the best, which they shall observe and thereby find life.’25 The Jews find life in them, for they look for nothing else than to have children, to possess health and wealth. They seek the things of earth; they give no thought to those of heaven; they are hired men.” (Pages 137–138)

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: $34.99
    Save $7.00 (20%)