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September 30: 1600 years of St Jerome and one year of Salesian translator's Handbook

On September 30, 2020 Pope Francis published his Apostolic Letter ‘Scripturae Sacrae Afectus’ on the 1600th death anniversary of Saint Jerome, which is also celebrated by the UN as the ‘International Translation Day’ since 2017. Saint Jerome is considered the patron saint of translators.

Although we recommend the full text reading of Pope Francis Apostolic Letter, this short quotation help us to breath really in a Catholic – universal way:

“With the celebration of this anniversary of the death of Saint Jerome, our gaze turns to the extraordinary missionary vitality expressed by the fact that the word of God has been translated into more than three thousand languages.  To how many missionaries do we owe the invaluable publication of grammars, dictionaries and other linguistic tools that enable greater communication and become vehicles for “the missionary aspiration of reaching everyone”!  We need to support this work and invest in it, helping to overcome limits in communication and lost opportunities for encounter”.

The International Translation Day 2020 has a theme ‘Finding worlds for a world in crisis‘. The day aims to celebrate the work of language translation professionals which facilitates dialogue, understanding and cooperation, contributing to the development and strengthening world peace and security. 

For the Salesian translators, especially those who are behind the publication of the ‘Salesian Translators Handbook’ just one year ago, on September 30, 2019 – as fruit of two previous Salesian translators workshop in 2014 and 2019.  Since last year there has been some progress made – last November 2019 was published the long awaited ‘Salesian Dictionary’ (Italian-English). Now is going on work on translation of these two important tools in the Salesian translation system to other languages (e.g. Handbook is already translated in Spanish and Italian version is being translated now).

We wish to all who are with patience daily working on the Salesian translations, the same passionate missionary heart of Saint Jerome, being daily motivated in their patient, not much visible but very important translating mission. Without the hard translation work St Jerome and others 3000 different language versions of the Bible would be not available. Without the hard daily translation work of our ‘invisible’ Salesian translators, our large Salesian family and Don Bosco today would be not much visible. Thank you so much!

 Saint Jerome, pray for us!