Tuesday, September 01, 2009

The Cult of St Jerome

Anthony van Dyck (1599–1641)
Saint Jerome, c. 1615/16
Oil on canvas,
157 x 131 cm
Liechtenstein Museum, Vienna

It would appear that unlike those of St Augustine and St Ambrose, the cult of St Augustine took a while to "get going".

In the article we can read:

"Not only did Jerome's Roman cult prosper during the fourteenth century, but it spread across Europe as the saint was adopted as special patron by remarkably varied groups of devout lay people and clerics, such as the prosperous Bologna law professor, Giovanni D'Andrea (died 1348), or the several religious orders known collectively today as the Hieronymites.

Some of these groups were attracted by the way the hagiographic narratives depicted Jerome's austere, penitential mode of life, and some, paradoxically, by his rejection of abstruse higher learning.

For while Jerome is acknowledged in his Vitae as a learned master of languages, his dream-inspired conversion from the love of pagan, secular literature and philosophy appealed to those who were influenced by the teachings of the more radical Franciscans and hostile to the reviving classicism of the quattrocento, as well as to the learned tradition of scholastic theology. Criticism of the latter is implied in one of the Pseudo-Augustine letters, where Jerome chides Augustine for indulging in the kind of speculative metaphysics that characterized the theology of the so-called Schoolmen in the late medieval universities."

As regards Giovanni d'Andrea or Johannes Andreæ, (c. 1270-1275 – 1348),see Wikipedia

One of Giovanni d'Andrea`s many works was an encomium of Saint Jerome, the Hierominianum