Glossary

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Saint Jerome

Jerome was born in Dalmatia in 342 and is one of the four Doctors of the Church, together with Ambrose, Augustine and Gregory the Great. He made the first translation of the Bible in Latin, the Vulgate. He held an official post under Pope Damasus I, and is sometimes depicted wearing cardinal's robes. The cardinal's red hat is one of his attributes (although there was no such office at the time).

He spent four years as a hermit in the desert, where he beat his breast when tempted by sinful thoughts. Another attribute, the stone (an artistic invention), and his bloodied breast, symbolise this. He is supposed to have removed a thorn from the paw of a lion, which he then befriended, but this legend belongs more correctly to another hermit saint. He died in 420, and his taking of the sacrament of extreme unction is sometimes depicted.
 
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