Jerome, Letters

LCL 262: 438-439

Go To Section
Go To Section


increpatione vendentium columbas, id est dona Spiritus Sancti, mensas subvertit mammonae et nummulariorum aera dispersit, ut domus Dei domus vocaretur orationis et non latronum spelunca. Huius e vicino sectare vestigia et ceterorum, qui virtutum illius similes sunt, quos sacerdotium et humiliores facit et pauperiores, aut, si perfecta desideras, exi cum Abraham de patria et de cognatione tua et perge, quo nescis. Si habes substantiam, vende et da pauperibus, si non habes, grandi onere liberatus es; nudum Christum nudus sequere. Durum, grande, difficile, sed magna sunt praemia.

CXXVII Ad Principiam Virginem de Vita Sanctae Marcellae

1. Saepe et multum flagitas, virgo Christi Principia, ut memoriam sanctae feminae Marcellae litteris recolam et bonum, quo diu fruiti sumus, etiam ceteris noscendum imitandumque describam. Satisque doleo, quod hortaris sponte currentem et me arbitraris indigere precibus, qui ne tibi quidem in



of mammon of those that sell doves, that is, the gifts of the Holy Spirit; he has scattered the money of the money-changers, so that the house of God might be called a house of prayer and not a den of robbers. Follow closely in his steps and in those of others like him in virtue, men whom their holy office only makes more humble and more poor. Or else, if you desire perfection, go out like Abraham from your native city and your kin, and travel whither you know not. If you have substance, sell it and give it to the poor. If you have none, you are free from a great burden. Naked yourself follow a naked Christ. The task is hard and great and difficult; but great also are the rewards.

Letter CXXVII To Principia Marcella1 and the sack of Rome Written a.d. 412

You have often and earnestly begged me, Principia, virgin of Christ, to honour in writing the memory of that saintly woman Marcella, and to set forth the goodness we so long enjoyed for others to know and imitate. It is, however, something of a grief to me that you should spur a willing horse,2 or that you should think I need

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.jerome-letters.1933