What do you think of poverty? by Jerome

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“Whoever is poor should be consoled by this: Joseph and Mary, the Mother of the Lord, had neither servant nor handmaid. They came to Bethlehem by themselves from Nazareth. They did not have a pack horse. They are masters and servants at the same time. This is new!
They go into an inn, not into the city, for, in their timid poverty, they dare not approach the rich. Admire the greatness of their poverty: they go to an inn. The Gospel does not say that it was on the road, but in an alley, off the main road “

Jerome, Homilia de nativitate Domini, PLS II, 189.

Many prominent church figures chose to live poor, mainly if they were monks and nuns. St. Anthony of Egypt sold his possessions and lived a very austere life. St. Mary of Egypt was the same. In fact, poverty is one of the pillars of monasticism. In choosing poverty, they wanted to separate themselves from earthly possessions and master themselves. History tells us this practice existed before Christianity, and many decided to live poor, e.g. stoics. In Christianity, those who chose to live poor do so to imitate Jesus, let go of any earthly attachment and be utterly dependent on God.

If you are interested in more quotes on Virgin Mary, you can find them in Mary and the Fathers of the Church on Amazon in both Kindle and paperback formats.


Gambero, L., 1999. Mary and the Fathers of the Church 1st ed. Translated by Buffer, T., San Francisco: Ignatius Press.

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