On September 30, 420 AD, St. Jerome, the great translator of the Bible, died.
This is an important figure that Pope Francis wanted to highlight on the occasion of the 16th centenary of the saint's death.
So the Pope has launched a new apostolic letter dedicated to St. Jerome, the 'Sacrae Scripturae affectus', 'Devotion to sacred Scripture.'
“The example of this great doctor and father of the Church, who has placed the Bible at the center of his life, awakens in everyone a renewed love for Sacred Scripture and a desire to live a personal dialogue with the Word of God.”
The document is dedicated to St. Jerome. It explains that his work was crucial for the Church at that time and in all times.
St. Jerome translated the Bible from Hebrew into Latin. Until then only the Greek version existed, a much less widespread language during that time.
For the pope, St. Jerome is an example for missionaries who must find the right words to share the faith in places where there is no translation of the Bible.
Pope Francis wrote that “the richness of Scripture is neglected or minimized by many because they were not afforded a solid grounding in this area.” It is an invitation to remember the 1600th anniversary of St. Jerome's death by reading the book to which he dedicated his life.