2007 Archive Edition - See the Archive Notice on the Project Homepage for more information.
Paula of Bethlehem
Born c. 347 in Rome, St. Paula was a member of a Christian family related to the Scipios and to the Gracchi. Married at 15 to Toxotius, she bore five children: Eustochium, Blesilla, Paulina, Rufina, and Toxotius. After the deaths of her husband (379) and of Blesilla, Paula adopted an ascetical way of living: in addition to limiting her food, drink, and sleep, she gave up her social life and gave generously to the poor. She became a friend of Jerome, who was then secretary to Damasus I. In 385, she and Eustochium went on a pilgrimage to Egypt and the Holy Land. They settled permanently in Bethlehem, where they lived under Jerome's guidance, after 386. The two women established a double monastery with a guest house for pilgrims. Paula knew Greek, and her knowledge, intelligence, and discretion aided her friendship with Jerome, whom she assisted in his work. When Paula died in 404, she was buried under the Church of the Nativity.
Karen Rae Keck
including the header and this copyright remain intact.