Saint Jerome (A.D. 347-420) is “one of those saints.” He is the saintly equivalent of your crazy uncle, who causes you to ask “Did he just say that!?” However, unlike your crazy uncle, he is actually on-target. Admittedly, Saint Jerome is not renowned for having had the warmest personality, and he has been regarded as irascible. However, Saint Jerome did have a warm spot, especially when it came to catechizing the youth and providing pastoral care to his monks. This famous provider of the Latin Vulgate Bible was quite the hard worker – now revered as both a Father of the Church and a Doctor of the Church. As someone in love with the Lord Jesus Christ, Jerome was not inclined to hold his tongue when it came to dealing with heretics (whom, on that note, he loved, while opposing their teachings). Here are some of his mic-drop moments countering the deceptive nature of heresy.
1. “The doer of evil has, indeed, killed his own soul; but the heretic — the liar — has killed as many souls as he has seduced.” Homilies on the Psalms
2. “Every heretic is bloodthirsty, for every day he spills the blood of souls.” Homilies on the Psalms
3. “[The heretic] is both a murderer and a practitioner of deceit. How is he deceitful? His words deliberately misrepresent the words of the Lord.” Homilies on the Psalms
4. “Just think of the condition of the heretic: the Lord abhors him!” Homilies on the Psalms
5. “Heretics do not have Christ, the Truth, on their lips, because they do not have him in their heart.” Homilies on the Psalms
6. “Heretics are unhappy men.” Homilies on the Psalms
7. “The mouths of heretics are forever gaping.” Homilies on the Psalms
8. “[Heretics] mean one thing in their heart; they promise another with their lips. They speak with piety and conceal impiety. They speak Christ and hide the Antichrist, for they know that they will never succeed with their seduction if they disclose the Antichrist. They present light only to conceal darkness; through light they lead to darkness.” Homilies on the Psalms
9. “Heretics change or alter their doctrine from day to day. In fact, if a theologian learned in the Scriptures contends with them, overwhelming them with proof from the Sacred Books, what do they do but straightaway look around in search of a new doctrine. They do not seek knowledge for the sake of salvation, but look around for new doctrine to vanquish the opponent.” Homilies on the Psalms
10. “Let [heretics] fall by their own countless contrivances, and let them have but one recourse, you, my God.” Homilies on the Psalms
Saint Jerome’s feast day is September 30, but we celebrate this holy man year-round. You may want to learn more about him by watching this video from Catholic Online. You may even develop a renewed perspective on this aspiring teddy bear of a saint, but just make sure to avoid saying anything heretical… or he will surely greatly intercede for you in order to inspire your repentance! Saint Jerome, pray for us!