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Jerome Rocks

The memorial of St. Jerome, Sept. 30, is superseded this year by Sunday, the Lord’s Day — except, of course, where the feast is kept with special devotion. And that would include this blog and the homes of its readers.

I’m sure you’ve already made plans to read my post from last year, when I dubbed Jerome “Doctor Cantankerous.” And surely when you’re there, you’ll follow the links.

But since Jerome is so awesome, you’ll probably want to do something more.

And I have just the thing.

Go directly to iTunes and grab yourself a copy of the just-released song about St. Jerome, by my good friend Dion. Yes, that’s THE Dion, who owned a lot of real estate in the Top 40 charts in the 1950s and ’60s. Last year, Dion was nominated for a Grammy Award for his disk Bronx in Blue. He’s followed up that success with another winner in the blues category, Son Of Skip James. (Skip James is to the later bluesmen what Ignatius of Antioch was to the later Fathers. James often addressed his blues directly to Jesus. An ordained minister, he preached his sermons melodically.)

You can get the music on iTunes now. Or you can pre-order the disk from Amazon. The record label, Verve, has posted some basic information.

But you want to know the song about Jerome, so here’s the scoop. It’s track number 8, and it’s called “The Thunderer.” It’s a moody, brooding piece, and it gives a good sense of the saint, whom Dion reveres and emulates in his own intensive study of the Sacred Page.

I have, on this very blog, called Dion “the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame’s resident expert on patristics.” And he is. I love the fact that he quotes Augustine to reporters from the New York Times. I love the chutzpah of a guy who honors St. Jerome just a few blue notes away from Skip James. As Phyllis McGinley said in her own poetic tribute to Jerome: “It takes all kinds to make a heaven.”

When Lou Reed gave Dion’s induction speech at the Hall of Fame, he said, “Nobody’s cooler than Dion.” I say amen to that.

Don’t let the feast day end before you’ve spent your ninety-nine cents to buy “The Thunderer” on iTunes. If you’re really cool, you’ll buy the whole album. I’ll bet Jerome would — though he’d probably get one of those rich Roman ladies to pick up the tab.

UPDATE: Junior points out that the search function on iTunes only turns up the album if you use “Son of Skip James” as your search term. For some reason, it doesn’t come up for a search on “Dion.” He also notes that Apple has the album categorized as “Rap/Hip-Hop,” which is funny.

5 thoughts on “Jerome Rocks

  1. Is there a particular book about or work of St. Jerome that would be useful in preparing homilies?

  2. For some reason, the modern patristic series have favored Jerome’s historical and polemical works over his exegetical works. Still, even those can be helpful in preparing homilies for saints’ days. So maybe you can look into the Penguin edition of Early Christian Lives, which is very cheap and includes Jerome’s “Lives of Illustrious Men.” You’ll find more good historical and personal material in the Letters of St. Jerome (Ancient Christian Writers series).

    CUA brought out several volumes of Jerome’s Homilies, but they’re out of print and hard to find. They’re worth the effort, though!

  3. Mike…I LOVE St. Jerome AND Dion! Thanks so much for this brilliant post! In these days of PC insanity, St. Jerome and Dion and others are my heroes for being BOLD as Lions and tender as doves. I’m sure St. Jerome had his tender moments with his Lord. God Bless the “fierce fighter” in him and others, as we desperately need those in our culture today! We all have our gifts and are called to ‘go in peace to love and serve the Lord’ after Mass. So…with that said, I hereby would like to say this:

    Mike, you are truly a disciple of Christ and serving the Lord exquisitely with this blog, all of your many books, talks, pilgrimages, EWTN programs and everything you do! That is why I’ve tagged you for the Mathetes Award. I welcome you to come by the blog and ‘receive’ it at your leisure. God Bless you Mike! And I’m looking forward to hearing you this week on


  4. One of the courses I teach as a high school religion teacher is one on the Old Testament to 9th graders. We start every class by invoking the prayers of St. Jerome. Of course, I’ve explained to them why we do this and who he is, but to be able to play this song for them will be excellent! Thanks for pointing it out, Mike!

    Barry M.

  5. The three cuts – St. Jerome, the 37 second talk about the Pope and Son of SKip James are just about the three greatest cuts one after the other imaginable, You are so blesséd to be able to call Dion your “good friend.”

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