St Jerome’s “Monument” to St Paula

Yesterday, we looked at the life of St Paula of Rome, a spiritual daughter and collaborator of St Jerome. The principal source of information about her is a letter which Jerome write to her daughter Eustochium after her death, which he describes with the words of one of Horace’s odes (3.30): “Exegi monumentum aere perennius. […]

St Paula of Rome

The Roman Martyrology notes today as the anniversary of the death of a Saint named Paula in the year 404. She was a disciple of St Jerome, and the principal source of information about her is one of the longest among his many letters (108), written to console her daughter Eustochium. It recounts a great […]

St Anthony the Abbot and St Augustine

Yesterday, for the feast of St Anthony the Abbot, we noted that the Latin translation of his biography by St Athanasius of Alexandria made him one of the most popular and influential Saints in the West throughout the Middle Ages and beyond. The most famous example of this influence comes from the autobiography of St […]

St Anthony the Abbot, Terror of Demons

Today is the feast of one of the great founders of the Christian monastic and ascetic tradition, the Egyptian Saint Anthony (250 ca. – 356). In the West, he is often called Anthony the Abbot, to distinguish him from his namesake of Padua; in the East, he is simply “Anthony the Great.” Shortly after his […]

A Sermon of Pope St Leo the Great on the Epiphany

The friend and mentor of many of us at VSI, Fr Reginald Foster, was a great admirer of the writings of Pope St Leo I, and liked to say that “all you need to know about theology, you can find in Leo’s glorious Latin!” This is a little bit of hyperbole (a rhetorical device at […]

Tertullian on the Persecutors of the Church

The Roman Martyrology notes today as the commemoration of a martyr named Mavilus, who was killed at Hadrumetum, a city on the north African coast about 60 miles south of Carthage, by being thrown to wild beasts in the public arena. This took place during a persecution in 212 AD instigated by Scapula, the proconsul […]

Two Legends of St John the Evangelist

The very earliest sources of the Roman Rite attest to the custom by which the feast of the Lord’s Birth is followed immediately by three feasts of Saints of the New Testament. St Stephen the first martyr is celebrated on December 26th, followed by the apostle St John, the evangelist who speaks most clearly about […]

St Servulus of Rome

The Dialogues of St Gregory the Great are a collection of stories and miracles of Saints whom the author knew personally, or were known by people whom he knew, written as a conversation between himself and his deacon Peter. The work was translated into Greek early on, and became very popular in the East, whence […]

Believing Thomas

On the calendar of the usus antiquior, today is the feast of the Apostle St Thomas. This feast was instituted in the West in the 9th century; the reason for the choice of date is unknown, but it is likely not a coincidence that nine other months have the feast of an Apostle or Evangelist […]

Pope St Leo the Great Preaches on the Ember Days of December

The Ember days are fasting days that each occur toward the end of each season, on the Wednesday, Friday and Saturday of the third week of Advent, the first week of Lent, Pentecost week, and the third week of September. St Leo I, who was Pope from 440 to 461, preached on them frequently, and […]