37. Pope St. Damasus I 366-384


Damasus was born in 305 to a wealthy family in Lusitania,which is now present day Portugal. He was a deacon under Pope Liberius and when Liberius was exiled,went to work for anti-Pope Felix II. Both Pope Liberius and anti-Pope Felix II had supporters that violently opposed one another. One group wanted Damasus to become the new Pope,and the other side wanted a man named Ursinus. When time came for a new Pope to be elected,the supporters of Felix(and now Damasus),stormed a basilica and murdered all of the supporters of Ursinus thus clearing the path for Damasus to easily be elected. Now whether or not Damasus knew this was going to happen is up for debate. One source says he hired a team of Gladiators to carry out this dirty work(which sounds awesome,even though it’s horrible),some sources say his name was dragged through the mud by herectics and this murderous tale was spread by enemies,along with the nickname “The ladies’ ear scratcher”……..whatever that means.
However Pope Damasus got into office,by all accounts he was a splendid Pontiff once there,and this is according to such prestigious Catholics such as St.Jerome and St.Ambrose,both of whom praised his faith and his leadership. Damasus should be remembered mostly for commissioning a complete version of the Bible. Yes,THE Bible. Prior to this point the Bible was a loosely collected series of books and scriptures mostly written in either Hebrew or Greek. Damasus wanted a complete and official book in one language to clear up any inconsistencies between the versions. Saint Jerome was Damasus’ personal secretary and he was charged with creating this new official Bible in Latin,the official language of the Church. The Latin Vulgate Bible was THE Bible for over 1000 years before different translations came about,and it was this Bible that was the first major mass produced book printed by the Gutenberg press in the 1400s.This was THE Bible that the world was built on……so yeah,Pope Damasus is a big deal,and like Ron Burgundy,he probably had many leather bound books. Papal High five.


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