[St. Pachomius Library]

St. Eustochium of Bethlehem

The third daughter of St. Paula, Eustochium (c. 368/90-c. 419) was her mother's companion after the death of her father. Educated in Hebrew and Greek, she helped her spiritual director, St. Jerome, with his Biblical translations and scholarship. He wrote a treatise on virginity which he sent as a letter to her in 385. Also called Julia Eustochium or Eustochium Julia, she accompanied Paula to Bethlehem and when Paula died in 404, took over the monastery Paula had founded. In 417, a band of ruffians, possibly a Pelagian mob, burned and pillaged her monastery. Jerome, Eustochium, and her niece Paula the Younger took refuge in a defense tower. Although they escaped harm, the incident broke Eustochium's health.

Karen Rae Keck


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