07 April 2008

Chapel of St. Jerome

Ok, it's not a church, it's a chapel. And this is supposed to be a list of my favorite churches. So sue me. This is the Chapel of St. Jerome, the cave where he lived in Bethlehem and where he did much of his work as a translator of Holy Scripture. Each time I've taken pilgrims to the Holy Land, I have celebrated Mass in this chapel, and each time I am astonished at the privilege of offering the Holy Sacrifice where St. Jerome spent so much time.

It's not beautiful when compared to the magnificent basilicas and cathedrals of the world. But it is beautiful when one remembers the man and the work which this place witnessed. My love for the Scriptures was instilled in me from the days of my protestant childhood, and that love influenced me to complete my undergraduate degree in Biblical Studies. When I'm in this little chapel I find myself glancing into the corners, hoping for a brief vision of an old man at his work.