MONUMENT TO ST. HIERONYMUS from the Preface to the Vita Malachi of Reginald of Canterbury (1050-1109)

Interpresque sacer fuit hostis et hostibus acer
Dogmatis ac fidei nostrae pacis requiei
Illum vesanus pavet hostes Iovinianus
Arrius et Photinus, Origenes atque Rufinus
Non abiit immunis quem tu, Ieronime, punis.
Tu pestes rabidas verbi mucrone trucidas.
Omnes lascivi, nebulones atque nocivi
Te destestantur, metuunt et amara precantur.
Lubrica te tellus, iuvenes cunctusque popellus,
Teque proci matrum, te matres teque theatrum
Urbes et vici, portus tibi sunt inimici.

Te posuit lumen sapientia, dans tibi flumen
Quo flueres vivo felix septemplice rivo ;
Nempe tuo vivi septem de pectore rivi
Insimul emanant qui languida pectora sanant.
Et cibus est menti doctrina tui documenti
Palladis ad cenam cupienti scandere plenam.
Tu iam duxque viae, tu fons splendorque sophiae
Monstrans namque viam cupidus potare sophiam.

(A translator of holy writings was he and a terrible foe ;
To the foes of our faith, of our creed, of our peace and our rest, a merciless goad ;
The wild Jovinian feared him fully
As did Arius and Phontius, Origen and Rufinus.
He goes not unscathed, whom you, Jerome will punish.
For the sword of your tongue disembowels pestiferous beasts.
All the lascivious, the crass, the harmful detest you :
They fear and call down curses upon you.
The sinful world, youth, and the shadowy people,
The wooers of wives, bad mothers, theatrical fools,
The ports, the cities and towns all repulse you.

Wisdom holds you up as light, granting you eloquence
Wherewith, in sevenfold stream, you happily gleam :
From your heart seven living rivers flow,
Curing the hearts of the languid.
The knowledge of your wares is a food for the mind ; a banquet
For one desiring to approach the full table of knowledge.
You are a guide, and a leader on the way ;
You are a fount, and the splendor of wisdom
Lighting the path before those desirous of devouring wisdom.)

Taken from A Monument to Saint Jerome : Essays on Some Aspects of His Life, Works, and Influence edited by Francis X. Murphy, C.SS.R. New York, 1952.

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Filed under Church Latin, Recusant History, Saint Hieronymus

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