Letter 22 to Eustochium
By: Saint Jerome (347-420)
St. Jerome's most famous letter , written to St. Eustochium, the sixteen-year-old daughter of the Roman widow St. Paula. St. Jerome exhorts St. Eustochium to embrace virginity and teaches her the proper conduct of a young woman. It contains his:
1. view that God, though omnipotent, cannot restore a fallen virgin
2. vivid description of fasting and temptation
3. view of abortion, that it is murder
4. term superbiam sanctam, virginity a "holy pride"
5. praise of wedlock, that it gives him virgins
6. further reading recommendations on virginity
7. "Do you read? He [God] speaks to you."
8. dream where the Judge condemns him a Ciceronian, not a Christian
9. description of the three types of monasticism
- Summary by Geremia