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ST. JEROME IN THE HERITAGE AND TRADITION
OF THE OLD CHURCH SLAVONIC LITURGY
Ivan Botica– Kristijan Kuhar
Abstract: BOTICA, Ivan– KUHAR, Kristijan. St. Jerome in the Heritage and Tradition of
the Old Church Slavonic Liturgy. e gure of St. Jerome had le traces in the history of
Old Church Slavonic Liturgy and places where the Roman Rite in the Old Church Slavonic
Language was celebrated. From 13th century St. Jerome became the Patron saint of Croatian
Glagolitism due to the developed cult of his sainthood. During the Ponticate of Pope
Innocent IV, Glagolitism was enculturated into the Catholic Church in such amanner that
it was placed under the patronage of Saint Jerome. is refers to aspiritual culture from
Croatian territory, whereby the Roman Rite could be performed in the Church Slavonic
language with exclusive use of the Glagolitic script. rough this act, Saint Jerome became
the author of the Glagolitic script and protector of the Roman Rite in Church Slavonic.
Earliest records of reverence of Saint Jerome have been found on Glagolitic territory, dated
to the period even before Glagolitism was enculturated into the Roman Catholic world, in
continental Istria in particular, which was considered Saint Jerome’s homeland. e worship
of Saint Jerome enhanced in the Humanism and Renaissance period, when the Croats
started regarding Saint Jerome as their national saint, reected in Croatia by numerous
monasteries, churches, chapels and altars erected in his honour. e worship of Saint Jerome
is also evident in numerous Croatian Glagolitic missals and breviaries containing liturgical
services honouring Saint Jerome. is paper explores the extent to which Saint Jerome was
worshipped in the heritage and tradition of Glagolitic liturgical manuscripts, which are
typologically classied as liturgy books »according to the use of the Roman Curia«.
Keywords: Saint Jerome, Saint Jerome’s churches, Glagolitic Breviaries and Missals, Roman Rite
in Old Church Slavonic, Glagolitic script, Istria
Saint Jerome, born as Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus (Εὐσέβιος Σωφρόνιος Ἱερώνυμος),
is a saint born at Stridonium, non-localised settlement in late-antiquity Dalmatia bordering
Pannonia. He is best known as the redactor of the Bible from Greek and Hebrew into Latin.
Jerome’s edition of the Bible, the Vulgata, is still an important text of Catholicism. It was used in
the medieval Latinity period for developing literacy. erefore, he is recognised by the Roman
Catholic Church as one of the Church Fathers and Doctors of the Church. Naturally, his life and
work have constantly been in the focus of scholarly research.
It is less known that Saint Jerome was also the patron saint of Glagolitism (Verkholantsev 2010,
225-63). is refers to the spiritual and cultural phenomenon of the Roman Catholic Church,
documented almost solely on Croatian territory, which received the Papal placet for performing
the Roman Rite liturgical services in the Church Slavonic language under the condition that
the lingua sacra of the Roman Catholic Church is written in Glagolitic script. Pope InnocentIV
(1243 – 1254) proclaimed Saint Jerome’s patronage of authorship of the Glagolitic script and
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Glagolitic liturgy, i.e. the Roman Rite in the Church Slavonic language.1 Croatian scholarship and
culture label the entirety of this liturgical and ecclesiastical phenomenon »Glagolitism«.
Naturally, the Glagolitic clergy, who celebrated Roman liturgy in Church Slavonic, considered
Saint Jerome their originator. is relegated the role of Sts. Cyril and Methodius in the creation of
the Glagolitic script and introducing the Church Slavonic language into Roman Catholic liturgy to
such an extent that they were fairly unknown until late 19th century (Verkholantsev 2010, 225-63).
On the other hand, Saint Jerome became not only the patron of Glagolitism but also the »protector
and pride of the Croatian people« (zašćititelj idika jazika hervaskoga) (Mihaljević 2014,12). Since
Early Modern Age, Croats have considered him their national and political symbol, role model
to the Croatian Catholic clergy, inspiration to artists, source of local pride, and the search for his
place of birth has been underway in many »Illyric« locations (Ivić 2018, 253, 268-269; Špoljarić
is paper studies the cult of St. Jerome in the Croatian Medieval Glagolitic area by the analysis
of Croatian Glagolitic missals and breviaries that contain oce in honour of St. Jerome. With this
research we hope to encourage the further liturgical and textological research of the euchological
and other liturgical elements in the oce in honour of St. Jerome. e main research goal is
to indicate the area in which the cult of St. Jerome was fully developed, by analysing liturgical
documents and by analysing hagiotopography.
Croatian Glagolitic missals and breviaries follow the typology of liturgy books »according
to the use of the Roman Curia« (secundum morem Romanae curiae). ey were translated into
Church Slavonic during the 14th century2 while their textual transmission, accompanied by
intense Croatisation of grammar and lexis, was underway until the Council of Trent (1545– 1563).
Aer this, feast days retained their established oce (ocium) in breviaries and their euchological
pattern in missals up until the liturgical reform introduced by the Second Vatican Council, which
caused Church Slavonic, as the lingua sacra of Eastern Adriatic dioceses, to mostly disappear from
the Roman Rite.
2. Saint Jerome in the Latin Roman Liturgy
e worship of Saint Jerome in the Roman Liturgy began in late 8th century, when Saint Jerome’s
name appeared in the »Communicantes«, prayer in the canon of the mass of certain Latin
sacramentaries of the Frankish provenance (from Gellone Abbey, Fulda Abbey, etc.)3. Even though
his name was registered in the canon of the mass of Gregory-Hadrian’s Sacramentary (Deshusses
1992, 88), alongside some non-martyrs, its rst appearance in the Roman context was in Vetu s
1 ere are dierent interpretations of this pontical rescript (for the recent interpretation see: Kra Soić
2016a, 2016b). e document has been preserved only in transcript which contains approval of the
Slavonic liturgy in the area of Senj diocese formally given to the bishop Filip of Senj: Porrecta nobis tua
petitio continebat quod in Sclavonia est littera specialis, quam illius terre clerici se habere abeato Jeronimo
asserentes, eam observant in divinis ocis celebrandis. [...] Nos, igitur, attendentes quod sermo rei et non est
res sermoni subiecta, licentiam tibi in illis dumtaxat partibus ubi de consuetudine observatur premissa [...]
(Kra Soić 2016a); Even the glagolitic letters were called letters of St. Jerome (Štefanić 1976).
2 It is important to mention that Croatian glagolitic liturgical manusripts were written and translated even
before the 14th century, but they are not preserved, except in fragments. During the 13th and 14th century,
probably under the inuence of the placte of Innocent IV, the liturgical books were revised according to
the new typology of liturgical books, and biblical readings according to the Vulgate (Corin 1997, 527-538;
Reinhart 1990, 45-52).
3 Codices liturgici latini antiquiores, nr. 855 and 970.
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missale Romanum monasticum Lateranense,4 dating back to the 11th/12th century. e worship of
Saint Jerome in Rome, i.e. in Roman Diocese and Roman Church, came into full swing during the
13th century, following the transfer of the chest containing Saint Jerome’s remains from Bethlehem
to the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome. His liturgical commemoration has been set to
30 September, which is the day of his death, while the transfer of his remains, or Translatio sancti
Hieronymi, is commemorated on 9 May, when the Roman Church commemorated the »transfer«
of relics of St Andrew the Apostle, Saint Luke the Evangelist, Saint Paul’s disciple Saint Timothy,
Saint Jerome the Presbyter and Saint Nicholas Bishop. e collective Martyrologium romanum
records the following text next to Saint Jerome’s name: Romae item Translatio sancti Hieronymi
Presbyteri, confessoris et Ecclesiae Doctoris ex Betlehem Judae ad Basilicam sanctae Mariae ad
Praesepe (Martyrologium romanum Gregorii XIII).
e liturgical reference to Saint Jerome had not been recorded in the oldest Roman missal
secundum consuetudinem Romanae curiae (redacted by Fr. Haymo of Faversham), and its rst
record dates back to the rst print of the missal secundum consuetudinem Romanae curiae (1474)
(Missale romanum Mediolani 1474 (1907), 388). e status of worship and liturgical celebration
of Saint Jerome in the Roman Church reected the treatment of this saint by the Roman Church.
Shortly before his death, Pope Pius II (1458– 1464) introduced the liturgical memorial Translatio
sancti Hieronymi into the Roman calendar and sanctoral, but this liturgical memorial was
abolished aer the Council of Trent.5 e worship never reached a higher level in Rome itself
because the chest containing Saint Jerome’s remains disappeared from the Santa Maria Maggiore
Basilica in late 15th century.
A more intense worship of Saint Jerome in the Catholic Church started aer Pope BonifaceVIII
(1294– 1303) issued a decree whereby four Latin Church Fathers, Saint Jerome being one of
them, were promoted to the duplex rank and awarded the title Doctors of the Church (doctores
ecclesiae). is led to the increase of Saint Jerome’s signicance in the entire Church. Until then,
he had been celebrated as aPresbyter and teacher of the Church, primarily on the territory
under Frankish inuence. e reference to Saint Jerome was introduced into the Roman Rite
via Frankish liturgical reform by the introduction of Saint Jerome’s name into the canon of the
mass and creation of aunique euchological pattern for the memorial of Saint Jerome. It should be
kept in mind that the Vulgate of St. Jerome was also introduced into the Roman Church from the
Frankish tradition. e gap spanning several centuries, until the start of his worship in the 13th
century, can only be explained by the fact that Saint Jerome was side-lined by Roman martyrs and
saints. It was not until the Humanist period that the »forgotten« father and teacher of the Church
received his true place in the liturgical memorials of the Catholic Church. However, unlike the
slow development of his cult in the »Latin« part of the Catholic Church, its »Glagolitic« part was
very active in transferring the cult and liturgical legend of Saint Jerome as the protector of the
»Glagolitic« section of the Catholic Church.
3. Roman liturgical tradition in Church Slavonic: Glagolitic missals and
It has already been mentioned that, in terms of typology, Croatian Glagolitic missals and breviaries
are to be classied as liturgy books secundum consuetudinem Romanae curiae and that they had
4 II. Kalendas Octobris. S. Hieronymi presbyteri.
5 In Missale romanum editio princeps (1570) and in Breviarium Romanum editio princeps (1568), but it is
mentioned in Martyrologium romanum editio princeps (1584).
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been created in the period from mid-14th to mid-16th century. ey were used to codify and
consolidate Croatian Church Slavonic as one of the linguae sacra of the Roman Catholic Church.
Even though liturgical books written in Old Church Slavonic belong typologically to the Roman
Rite, they did not follow texts of the Latin Roman liturgical tradition in every single detail6. Rather,
they aimed at preserving the distinctiveness of its own tradition of textual transmission from older
translations from Latin to Old Church Slavonic language that are preserved in older Glagolitic
is fact is well reected in the euchological pattern related to the liturgical memorial of Saint
Jerome. Our research encompassed texts from the following Croatian Glagolitic missals: Vatican
missal Illirico 4 (216b-216d), Missal of Count Novak (224d-225a), Missal of Hrvoje, Duke of Split
(184c), First Ljubljana (Beram) missal (187c-188a), Eighth Vatican missal (184c), First Vrbnik missal
(242a), and the Editio princeps of Glagolitic missal (pp. 246-347). All missals referred to above
share the same structure, in typological terms, which is identical to the Latin missals »according
to the use of the Roman Curia«. However, Vatican missal Illirico 4, dated to early 14th century is
the oldest Croatian Glagolitic missal »according to the use of the Roman Curia« and has been used
for the longest time. All mentioned missals follow exact euchological pattern, i.e. three prayers:
Collecta, Super oblata and Post communionem. ere are also dierences: the prayer super oblata
Dari molim te8 in the said missal (216d) is longer compared to the others, and it is absent in the
First Ljubljana (Beram) missal (188a).9 Some euchological elements present in Croatian Glagolitic
missals show distinctions from the Latin template. For instance, the rst euchological element
(collecta) was probably translated from an older template and does not match the Roman pattern,
leading to an unknown template, probably from some North Italian liturgical manuscript.10
Church Slavonic collecta
Vatican Missal Illirico 4
Missale Romanum 1474
B(ož)e iže nam‘ b(la)ž(e)nim‘ eronimom‘
prozviterom‘ tvoim‘ tainu rêsnoti tvoee
vzglasiti račil’ esi podai m(o)l(imь) te . da
egože sl(a)vu čtem’ naz(e)mlahь togožde
m(o)l(i)tvami pomogli se bihom’ nan(e)b(e)
sêh’ . g(ospode)mь n(a)š(i)m
Deus qui ecclesie tue in exponendis sacris
scripturis. beatum ieronimum gloriosum
confessorem tuum doctorem maximum
et electum prouidere dignatus es. presta
quesumus. ut eiusdem suragantibus meritis.
quod ore simul et opere docuit. et adiuuante
In other words, Church Slavonic collecta used for liturgical reference to Saint Jerome is not adirect
translation of the collecta from the Latin Roman tradition as registered in the missals. In terms
of meaning, it is close to the Latin text of the Commune doctorum prayer11; however, the collecta
from the Church Slavonic Commune doctorum had been adjusted to the theological expression
6 It is visible in the transcription of the older euchological elements in various later liturgical books,
especially in the liturgical services of the saint patrons of the churches where the liturgical books were
used (Pantelić 1971).
7 For more, see Kuhar 2017.
8 Dari m(o)l(imь) te g(ospod)i vzdanie s(ve)ti ihodataûĉu b(la)ž(e)nomu eronimu isp(o)v(ê)dniku tvoemu
nasь simi ot grêhь n(a)ših’ skvr’n’ očisti (Vatican Missal Illirico 4, f. 216d).
9 e writer did not follow the euchological pattern.
10 e oldest Croatian Glagolitic Liturgical texts match the Latin liturgical texts from Northern Italian area.
See more Kuhar 2017. For the development of Croatian Glagolitic Missal, see Corin 1997.
11 Deus, qui populo tuo aeterne salutis beatum N. ministrum tribuisti: praesta, qaesumuns; ut, quem
Doctorm vitae habuimus in terris, intercessorem habere mereamus in caelis. Per Dominum. Litrugia
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of Church Slavonic. is is especially evident in the expression of the petition in the prayer da
koga slavu čtemь nь zemli togoĵe molitvami pomogli se bihomь n’ nebesihь (quem Doctorem vitae
habuimus in terris, intercessorem habere mereamur in caelis), which is an example of adjusted
translation. erefore, the question arises about the Latin model of these sections of the liturgical
text related to the liturgical memorial of Saint Jerome as it is clear that they were not adopted
from the Latin missal »according to the use of the Roman Curia«. ey must derive from an older
liturgical codex, most likely from the Northern Italian area, which was in direct contact with the
Liturgical reference to Saint Jerome can be found in 15 Croatian Glagolitic breviaries (half
of the total number of preserved breviaries). In typological terms, they are identical to the Latin
breviaries secundum morem Romanae curiae. e dierence in the Liturgy of the Hours for
liturgical commemoration of Saint Jerome refers to the content of the Liturgy, i.e. its liturgical
rank. Breviaries from continental Istria are especially prominent when it comes to the scope of
the liturgy service of Saint Jerome, i.e. the liturgical rank of his memorial. e celebration of Saint
Jerome was particularly vivid on that territory as it is the area which is oen referred to as one of
the potential places of Saint Jerome’s birth or, to paraphrase the title of ahistoriographic study by
Fr. Josip Bedeković (1752), natale solum magni ecclesiae doctoris sancti Hieronymi. Hence, the most
complete Liturgy of the Hours commemorating Saint Jerome can be found in BrHum, BrLab1 and
BrN1. e latter was created by compiling an unknown source, most probably originating in Istria.
e service of Saint Jerome in all other Croatian Glagolitic breviaries is identical to the related
service in the Latin breviary secundum morem Romanae curiae.
Figure 1. Illumination of Saint Jerome found in Hum breviary
When analysing the textual content of the service of Saint Jerome in Croatian Glagolitic breviaries,
we only took into account those that contained ahymn, ve readings from the nocturnes, oratio,
antiphon for Magnicat, invitatorium, laudes, prima and the Vesper. Only BrHum (144d-147b)
contains all these parts. Its Liturgy of the Hours is by far the most elaborate. It is the only breviary
containing annotated psalms, Lesser Hours and an illumination of Saint Jerome (see Figure 1).
Saint Jerome is the patron saint of Hum, the town that belonged to the Diocese of Trieste, just
like Zrenj, and was for along time under the secular jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Aquileia
(Škunca 2014, 84). e said breviary belonged to the parish church in Hum. e saint is depicted
wearing cardinal’s garments and ahat, which is the iconography frequently used for depicting
Church teachers. In his le hand, we can see him holding asilhouette of what we presume is
Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta in Aquileia. BrN1 is the only breviary that can compete with
BrHum in terms of the number of liturgical elements. e liturgical services of Saint Jerome in
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all other breviaries are identical in terms of scope: ve readings from the nocturnes and oratio.
Itshould be emphasised that as many as 11 Croatian Glagolitic breviaries contain the hymn to
Saint Jerome, which is not present in the Latin breviaries secundum morem Romanae curiae.12
On the other hand, the collect prayer (oratio) in the breviary is completely identical with the one
found in the missals.
We can conclude that the worship of Saint Jerome according to Church Slavonic liturgy
books »according to the use of the Roman Curia« mostly corresponded to the Latin Roman
templates. e euchological pattern for liturgical commemoration of Saint Jerome in Croatian
Glagolitic missals is always accompanied by three euchological elements (prayers). ey follow
the Latin Roman matrix in all elements apart from the collecta, which the Church Slavonic
Roman liturgical tradition, unlike the Latin Roman liturgical tradition, inherited, as arule, from
A similar pattern is evident in Croatian Glagolitic breviaries. Of een Croatian Glagolitic
breviaries that contain the service of Saint Jerome, only three contained the full service, as is
appropriate for a duplex-ranked celebration; one of them only contained readings from the
Second and ird Nocturn, while eleven contained the hymn and collect prayer (oratio) alongside
the readings. e hymn to Saint Jerome was not registered in the Liturgy of the Hours of the Latin
Roman liturgical tradition until the 15th century. Hence it can be considered »added value« to
the living worship of Saint Jerome in Glagolitic churches, which could not co-exist with Roman
Catholic Churches without Saint Jerome.
4. Saint Jerome on Glagolitic territory
e worship of Saint Jerome in Rome dates back to the 13th century. e only earlier cult registered
to date was present on Croatian territory. Namely, some Croatian churches consecrated to Saint
Jerome can be dated earlier than the 13th century (Hum, Korlat, Lubenice, Sveti Lovreč Labinski,
Vižinada) (Badurina 2006). e worship of Saint Jerome spread through the liturgical books from
Francia to Rome and Aquileia, i.e. from the north toward the south. Jerome’s assumed homeland
aliation (Istria) inuenced the fact that the worship of Saint Jerome rst became entrenched
in the area under the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Aquileia. is is evident in the oldest
churches consecrated to Saint Jerome that were erected on the territory under the jurisdiction of
the Patriarchate of Aquileia (Istria and Kvarner). Aprominent role in the spread of the worship of
Saint Jerome was held by Pope Pius II, who, as was mentioned before, promulgated the liturgical
memorial Translatio s. Hieroniymi to the entire Catholic Church. Prior to being elected Pope, he
was the Bishop of Trieste (1447– 1458), which means that he witnessed in person the reverence
of Saint Jerome in his diocese. e Diocese of Trieste and its neighbouring Poreč Diocese, both
under the management of the Patriarchate of Aquileia, boasted with the largest number of erected
churches, chapels and altars consecrated to Saint Jerome in the entire Catholic Church. In mid-13th
century, omas the Archdeacon wrote that Saint Jerome’s place of birth is located »inland from
the Gulf of Kvarner« (Istria) (Arhiđakon 2003, 2-3). e Catholic world of the period believed that
Zrenj was the exact place where Saint Jerome had been born (Kelly 1998, 7). e Italian variants of
this locality bordering Venetian Istria in the Trieste Diocese are Stregna and Stridone (Grah 2017,
28). Nevertheless, the intention of Pius II, former Bishop of Trieste, to promote the worship of
Saint Jerome within the Catholic Church by introducing the Translatio sancti Hieronymi feast day
failed to gain ground as the liturgical memorial of the transfer of Saint Jerome’s relics was omitted
12 Incipit of the Hymn: b(ož)e iže esi s(vê)tlostь kr(a)sna vên(a)cь s(ve)tihь (f. 144d).
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from later missals. He appears in Croatian Glagolitic breviaries as the sanctorem, especially those
originating from Istria. e First Ljubljana (Beram) Breviary from late 14th century is, based on
our research, the only one that contains the entire Liturgy of the Hours connected with this feast
Croatia was, without adoubt, the country where Saint Jerome was worshipped the most in the
entire Catholic Church (see more Bratulić 2018, 230). is thesis, present in Croatian historiography
for more than ve centuries, could easily be statistically veried in the total number of churches,
chapels and altars consecrated (dedicated) to Saint Jerome. Several monastic orders in Croatia are
under patronage of Saint Jerome13. Numerous churches consecrated to Saint Jerome bear testimony
to the continuous and living reverence of Saint Jerome in Croatia. Below we provide the list of these
churches, ordered by the year of their erection or consecration (Badurina 2006):
12th c. below Helm (Lubenice), Vižinada, old parish church (Hum), cemetery
12th– 13th c. Staniševići (Sveti Lovreč Labinski), Korlat;
13th c. Kavran, Muntić;
13th– 14th c. cemetery (Nova Vas Novigradska);
14th c. Vlašići, Rijeka, Zrenj, Rumenja vrata (Senj), Štrigova, Slano;
15th c. near St. Anna (Krk), Ugljan, Marjan (Split), Vrulja (Kolan), Martinšćica,
u Polju (Ston), Široke (Primošten), Prirov (Vis), Blato na Korčuli, Glavica
(Šipan), Ražanac, Rt (Kali);
16th c. Gornje Selo (Risika), Mali Kraj (Stara Baška), on the bay (Stari Grad),
cemetery (Skradin), Peroj (Fažana), Pučišća, Zaton Dubrovački, Trsteno,
17th c. Kobaš (Ston), Grobnik, Bribir (Vinodol), Lopud, Pintor (Milna naBraču),
Miševac (Trogir), Lukoran, Postrana (Žrnovo), fotress (Knin);
18th c. Lišane, cemetery (Trilj), Gljev (Gala-Gljev), Brštanovo, Veliko Brdo, old
church (Kaštel Gomilica), Valica (Savudrija), Klana;
19th c. Donje Selo (Risika) Jasenice;
20th c. Lun, new church (Kaštel Gomilica), Maksimir (Zagreb), Meterize (Šibenik),
Biokovsko Selo (Župa Biokovska).
Chart 1. ‘Glagolitic’ and ‘Latin’ churches consecrated to Saint Jerome in Croatia
e worship of Saint Jerome has become well rooted in Croatia since the Croats have considered
him their most educated and most representative saint ever since the Middle Ages (Prosperov
Novak 2019). e rootedness of his worship is not conditioned solely by his (non)-localised place
of birth, Dalmatiae quondam Pannoniaeque connium fuit (Stilting and Johannes 1748, 425), but
also by the rescript issued by Pope Innocent IV granting the use of Glagolitism in the Catholic
Church14. As Saint Jerome became the patron saint of Glagolitism, the oldest churches consecrated
to him can be found on Glagolitic territory. He certainly became the Glagolitic saint par excellence
Aer being canonised as the author of the Glagolitic script and the patron saint of Glagolitism,
his cult rst became rooted in Roman Catholic churches in which liturgy was read from Croatian
13 Namely, three Franciscan provinces of three Franciscan orders: Franciscan minor friars Province in
Zadar, Franciscan Conventual Province in Zagreb and ird Order Regular Province in Zagreb.
14 Kra Soić 2016a, 2016b.
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Glagolitic missals and breviaries. It was not until later, when Humanism and Renaissance made
him the national saint in Croatia, that his cult entered the Latin churches as well (Chart 1).
e earliest worship of Saint Jerome was documented in the North Adriatic area (Istria and
Kvarner) under the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Aquileia. Aquileia is also the place of origin
of the earliest Latin sources used for translating the oldest euchological patterns into Church
Slavonic15. Hence it is possible that the Church Slavonic euchological pattern in the liturgical
memorial of Saint Jerome, which is partially dierent from the Latin euchological pattern from
the missals secundum consuetudinem Romanae curiae, emerged directly due to the mediation of
Aquileia, or parts of Northern Italy, which served as astronger connection for early Glagolitism
until mid-13th century than Rome did.
According to the analysis of the liturgical sources, we can conclude that the worship of Saint
Jerome had been deeply rooted on Croatian territory already in the Middle Ages. Long before
Roman Ponti proclaimed Saint Jerome the Doctor of the Church, it was known that he was born
on the border between ancient Pannonia and ancient Dalmatia. omas the Archdeacon, one of
the rst chroniclers of Croatia, at the beginning of his work Historia Salonitana (1266) dened
Dalmatia by stating that it was »the homeland of the Blessed Jerome, exquisite teacher« (hec fuit
patria tellus beati Hieronymi, egregii doctoris). In other words, his rst association to aperson
from Dalmatia was Saint Jerome. e proof of living worship of Saint Jerome on present Croatian
territory is most evident in numerous monasteries, churches, and chapels built in his honour.
Early traces of worship in locations of Church Slavonic liturgy in the Patriarchate of Aquileia,
especially in continental Istria, even earlier than in Rome itself, reect the belief regarding Jerome’s
origin from the said territory and the desire to protect Glagolitism by using his authority, which
the Church, until the Ponticate of Pope Innocent IV, ocially brought into question under the
heretic title »Methodius’s doctrine« (Katičić 1986, 11-44; Klaić 1986, 17-39; Verkholantsev 2010,
247-250; Gračanin and Petrak 2017, 28-42).
All of this changed in mid-13th century when the Pope allowed for the Roman Rite to be
performed in the Catholic Church in Church Slavonic. He placed priests and Glagolitic monks,
who obtained spiritual strength from the practice called Glagolitism, under the protection of Saint
Jerome, who was an unrivalled Church authority. at was the reason why Glagolitism as the
liturgical manifestation of the Roman Rite in the Church Slavonic language could exist and last
in the Catholic Church in the rst place. at was the reason why the sense of belonging to Saint
Jerome became deeply rooted, as manifested in numerous churches built in his honour as well as
the elaborated liturgical worship of Saint Jerome in Croatian Glagolitic missals and breviaries.
e present paper explored and highlighted the rootedness and scale of worship of Saint Jerome
on Glagolitic territory, which was rst under the inuence of Aquilian, later succeeded by Roman
liturgical tradition and jurisdiction. e twenty-eight churches consecrated to Saint Jerome in the
Middle Ages bear witness to his well-developed cult. Church Slavonic liturgical texts honouring
Saint Jerome are no less frequent. e euchological pattern used for commemoration of Saint
Jerome was discovered in ve Croatian Glagolitic missals, while the Liturgy of the Hours (ocium
Divinum) was discovered in as many as een Croatian Glagolitic breviaries. e structure of
these liturgical texts is slightly dierent when compared to the liturgy books they were translated
from, i.e. liturgy books »according to the use of the Roman Curia« (secundum morem Romanae
15 See more Kuhar 2017.
I B – K K
| 56 | •••KONŠTANTÍNOVE LISTY 14/1 (2021), pp. 48 – 58
curiae). is means that the Church Slavonic Roman liturgical tradition contained individual
elements which were dierent from the Latin tradition, which was the role model for everything
ever since the Papal placet issued in the 13th century.
e abundance of the Liturgy of the Hours honouring Saint Jerome and the extent of his
liturgical reference in Croatian Glagolitic breviaries, especially in those within the areal of the
Patriarchate of Aquileia, further enhance the presumption that Saint Jerome was most revered
in his supposed homeland. at is where the oldest churches of the Catholic Church consecrated
to Saint Jerome are located. By the time he started to be revered as asaint, his patria was already
largely Glagolitic by script and language. at is why his homeland awarded him with the highest
honour by proclaiming him the author of the Glagolitic script and placing Glagolitism, its sublime
spiritual value, under his authority.
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Ivan Botica, PhD.
Old Church Slavonic Institute
Kristijan Kuhar, PhD.
Old Church Slavonic Institute