Virgin; b. Rome, c. 368; d. Bethlehem, Palestine, late 418 or early 419. The third of the four daughters of St. paula of rome, she consecrated herself to a life of virginity and was trained in the austere life by her widowed mother and St. marcella. Paula and Eustochium Julia were among the noble Roman ladies given spiritual guidance and scriptural instruction by St. jerome during his stay in Rome (382–385). Upon Jerome's departure, they followed him to the East and, after a trip to Egypt, settled at Bethlehem. In the religious community established there under Jerome's spiritual leadership, Paula supervised three convents for women. Paula died in 404, and Eustochium succeeded to her mother's position. The eulogy on Paula written by Jerome (Ep. 108) gives much detail on their life in Bethlehem. Jerome addressed numerous letters to Paula and Eustochium and also dedicated some of his scriptural commentaries to them. Eustochium in her youth was addressee of one of the most famous of Jerome's epistles (Ep. 22), a lengthy treatise on virginity. Eustochium and Paula are the ostensible authors of another long letter preserved among Jerome's correspondence (Ep. 46), but this letter may actually have been drafted, or rewritten, by Jerome.
Feast: Sept 28.
Bibliography: Acta Sanctorum Sept. 7:589–603. jerome, Epistulae, ed. i. hilberg, 3 v. (Corpus scriptorum ecclesiasticorum latinorum 54–56; 1910–18), letters 22, 46, 54, 107, 108, 151, 153, 154; Letters, ed. t. c. lawler, tr. c. c. mierow, v.1 (Ancient Christian Writers 33; 1963), passim. f. cavallera, Saint Jérôme, 2 v. (Spicilegium sacrum Lovaniense 1, 2; 1922), passim. st. jerome, Epistula di misser sanctu Iheronimu ad Eustochiu, ed. f. salmeri (Palermo 1999), letters of Jerome and Eustochium with ample bibliographic references.
[t. c. lawler]