Prayer to Saint Jerome


The Liturgical Year: Father Prosper Gueranger 1903

Thou completest, O illustrious Saint, the brilliant constellation of Doctors in the heavens of holy Church. The latest stars are now rising on the sacred Cycle; the dawn of the eternal Day is at hand ; the Sun of Justice will soon shine down upon the Valley of Judgment. O model of penance, teach us that holy fear, which restrains from sin, or repairs its ravages ; guide us along the rugged path of expiation. Historian of great monks,1 thyself a monk and father of the solitaries attracted like these to Bethlehem by the sweetness of the divine Infant, keep up the spirit of labour and prayer in the monastic Order, of which several families have adopted thy name. Scourge of heretics, attach us firmly to the Roman faith. Watchful guardian of Christ's flock, protect us against wolves, and preserve us from hirelings. Avenger of Mary's honour, obtain for our sinful world that the angelic virtue may flourish more and more.

O Jerome, thy special glory is a participation in the power of the Lamb to open the mysterious Book; the key of David was given to thee to unclose the many seals of holy Scripture, and to show us Jesus concealed beneath the letter. The Church, therefore, sings thy praises today, and presents thee to her children as the official interpreter of the inspired writings which guide her to her eternal destiny. Accept her homage and the gratitude of her sons. May our Lord, by thy intercession, renew in us the respect and love due to his divine word. May thy merits obtain for the world other holy Doctors, and learned interpreters of the sacred Books. But let them bear in mind the spirit of reverence and prayer with which they must hear the voice of God in order to understand. God will have his word obeyed, not discussed; although, among the various interpretations of which that divine word is susceptible, it is lawful, under the guidance of the Church, to seek out the true one ; and it is praise-worthy to be ever sounding the depths of beauty hidden in that august doctrine. Happy is he who follows thy footsteps in these holy studies! Thou didst say: " To live " in the midst of such treasures, to be wholly engrossed in them, to know and to seek nothing else, " is it not to dwell already more in heaven than on " earth. Let us learn in time that science which " will endure for ever."

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