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Jerome

Sancti Eusebii Hieronymi Epistulae

I Ad Innocentium Presbyterum de Septies Percussa

1. Saepe a me, Innocenti carissime, postulasti, ut de eius miraculo rei, quae in nostram aetatem inciderat, non tacerem. Cumque ego id verecunde et vere, ut nunc experior, negarem meque adsequi posse diffiderem, sive quia omnis humanus sermo inferior esset laude caelesti, sive quia otium quasi quaedam ingenii robigo parvulam licet facultatem pristini siccasset eloquii, tu e contrario adserebas in Dei rebus non possibilitatem inspici debere, sed animum, neque eum posse verba deficere, qui credidisset in verbo.

2. Quid igitur faciam? Quod inplere non possum, negare non audeo. Super onerariam navem rudis vector inponor, et homo, qui necdum scalmum in lacu rexi, Euxini Maris credor fragori. Nunc mihi evanescentibus terris’ caelum undique et undique

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Letters

Select Letters of St. Jerome

Letter I To Innocentius The woman struck by seven swords Written a.d. 370

You have often in the past asked me, my dearest Innocent,1 to relate that miraculous happening which occurred in my lifetime. To that request I gave a modest, and as I now find by trial, a justified refusal. I distrusted my power of achievement, both because all the language of man is inadequate to the praise of heaven, and also because lack of exercise, like rust upon the mind, has dried up any slight power of eloquence that in the past I might have possessed. You on the other hand declared that in the things of God one ought to consider not the possibility, but the will, and that he who believed in the Word could not find words fail him.

What then shall I do? I cannot fulfil this task, but I do not dare to refuse it. A novice in ship-craft, I am put on board a vessel heavily laden; a poor fellow who has never steered a skiff upon a lake, I am entrusted to the roar of the Euxine Sea. The land fades from sight, around me now ‘on every side is

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.jerome-letters.1933