Saint Jerome of Bethlehem

“In the month Nisan of the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when the wine was in my charge, I took some and offered it to the king. Because I had never before been sad in his presence,” (Nehemiah 2:1.)

Saint Bede the Venerable comments on this verse from today’s First Reading:

“We have plainly learned from the teaching of Isaiah how Cyrus, the first king of the Persians, represents a figure of the Lord Savior because he ended the captivity of the people of God and decreed that the temple be restored. So too, we can properly take the successor of this same empire, Artaxerxes, who with the same devotion ordered that the city of Jerusalem be rebuilt, as a type of the Lord, who builds a city for himself from living stones (that is, the one church made from all the elect) through the service of preachers. Thus it is appropriate that the name Artaxerxes means “a light that tests silently.” For the Lord is indeed the light of life who tests the hearts of his faithful silently, at times illuminating them with the sweetness of celestial grace, at others clouding them with the burdens of this life, so that, instructed by temporal adversities, they might desire eternal goods more ardently.” (On Ezra and Nehemiah, 3.)

O God,
who gave the Priest Saint Jerome
a living and tender love for Sacred Scripture,
grant that your people
may be ever more fruitfully nourished by your Word
and find in it the fount of life.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen