15. French Patronymique 19th – St. Jerome with Lion

France Patronymique 19th - Private Collection Athens Greece

St. Jerome with lion, painted on a French patronymique ceramic plate (Nevers?) from the beginning of the 19th century. St. Jerome (c. 347 – 30 September 420) was an Illyrian Catholic priest and apologist, first Latin translator of the Bible. In fine arts he is usually depicted with a Bible, accompanied by a lion (this picture emerged from a Christian legend). One evening St. Jerome was sitting in his monastery in Jerusalem, when a mighty lion came in limping on three paws, holding the fourth caught up. While the monks tripped over one another trying to get away, Jerome went out to meet him as one greets an incoming guest. The lion offered his wounded paw and Jerome noticed that the paw had been pierced by thorns. After he applied a salve, the wound quickly healed. So, St. Jerome tamed the lion, which now went in and out of the cloister as peaceably as any domestic animal.

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