Thursday, January 26, 2012

From the martyrology: SS Polycarp and Paula (Jan 26)

In the Office today we celebrate the feast of St Polycarp:

"St. Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna and martyr, who gained the crown of martyrdom on the 23rd of February."
St Paula and her daughter with St Jerome
Francisco de Zurbaran, c1638-40

The martyrology also lists, however, St Paula (347-404), who assisted St Jerome in his translation work and established a monastery for men and women in Bethlehem:

"At Bethlehem of Judea, the death of St. Paula, widow, mother of St. Eustochium, a virgin of Christ, who abandoned her worldly prospects, though she was descended from a noble line of senators, distributed her goods to the poor, and retired to our Lord's manger, where, endowed with many virtues, and crowned with a long martyrdom, she departed for the kingdom of heaven.  Her admirable life was written by St. Jerome."

St Jerome wrote a life of her, and a number of their letters also survive.

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