The Chancel Windows

St. Jerome & St. Augustine

Photograph by Bill Blanchard

The last set of windows on the left is dedicated to St. Jerome and St. Augustine.


Jerome is a popular subject with artists, who have pictured him as an ascetic in the desert, as a scholar in his study, and, in our window, because of his service to Pope Damasus, as a cardinal robed in scarlet.


Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, is pictured in the robes of a bishop of the medieval period. He wears a miter and carries a crosier. He is vested in alb, stole, dalmatic and cope. Bishops sometimes wear a dalmatic, the vestment of a deacon, together with a chasuble to indicate that they possess the fullness of the priesthood. In the medieval period, they wore either the chasuble or the cope over the dalmatic. Until the reforms of the Second Vatican Council, pontifical regalia included shoes and gloves as worn by Augustine in this window. In his right hand, Augustine holds a flaming heart, symbol of his love of his fellow brothers and sisters, and of his desire to know more about the mystery of God.


Jerome (Eusebius Hieronymus Sophronius) was born about 342 at Stridonius, a small town at the head of the Adriatic Sea. He studied philosophy and rhetoric at Rome, where he was baptized in 360 by Pope Liberius. A few years afterward, he dedicated himself to God and to study. He built up a library and settled for a while at Aquileia, in northern Italy. He traveled to Antioch about 373. In the Syrian desert, he practiced rather extreme asceticism, and dedicated himself to the study of Hebrew. About 380, he traveled to Constantinople to study Sacred Scripture. Two years later, he journeyed to Rome where he entered the service of Pope Damasus. At Damasus' request, he prepared a revised version of the Latin New Testament, based on Greek sources. He also revised the Latin Psalter. In 385, he set out for the Holy Land, traveling by way of Cyprus. There he began to translate into Latin from Hebrew most of the books of the Old Testament. He died about 420. His greatest gift to the Church is the "Vulgate," his Latin translation of the New Testament and most of the Old Testament.


His feast is observed on September 30. He formally was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1295 by Pope Boniface VIII. He is known as the "Father of Biblical Science." He is the patron of librarians and biblical scholars.


Augustine was born at Tagaste, Souk-Ahras in modern Algeria, in 354. Although brought up with Christian teaching by his devout mother, Monica, Augustine devoted his youth to loose living and carousing. Through the prayers of his mother and the influence of Ambrose, he became convinced that Christianity was the one true religion. He delayed his baptism because he was convinced he could not live a virtuous life. Eventually he was baptized, became a priest, and then Bishop of Hippo. One of the most gifted men who ever lived, he wrote numerous profound theological works. He wrestled with the problem of evil and the mystery of the Trinity. Probably his most famous work is his "Confessions," an account of his life. He died in Hippo in 430.


His feast is celebrated on August 28. He formally was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1295 by Pope Boniface VIII. He is called the "Doctor of Grace." Because of his conversion from a life of excess, he is the patron of brewers.