The Church of San Girolamo
Subsidiary Church of the Cathedral
The church is dedicated to St. Jerome and his disciple St. Eusebius of Cremona.
Jerome (347-420), a biblicist , translator of the Bible (his Vulgate was the first complete translation into Latin, translated from the original Hebrew and Greek texts), and theologian, he was one of the most representative figures of his time. His vast knowledge, his notes on the Holy Scriptures and the vigor with which he fought the heresies of his time earned him the title of doctor of the Church. He founded a monastery in Bethlehem where he eventually died and was buried. His remains were moved to Rome in the Basilica of St. Mary Major in the 13th century.
Eusebio is the first Cremonese Christian whose name history has preserved. Born not long after the middle of the fourth century, he died in the first decades of the 5th century. The little information we have about his life can be found in the writings of his teacher St. Jerome. He testifies that, having abandoned his career as a lawyer, he became a monk and was also ordained a priest. In 395 Eusebius was in Bethlehem and participated with his teacher in the great theological disputes of the time. Jerome dedicated his commentaries to the book of Jeremiah and the Gospel of Matthew to him. We know nothing of the latest events in his life. His sepulcher is found in the Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem.
Interior of the Church
The church of San Girolamo was built in 1386 on a quadrangular plan. The current form, a Greek cross, came about through an enlargement which took place between 1615 and 1657, in order to place two side altars dedicated to St. Jerome (right) and San Giovanni Decollato (to the left), in addition to the high altar. The church was the seat of several confraternities – including the confraternity of the Our Lady of Mercy and the confraternity of San Giovanni Battista Decollato – whose purpose was to provide religious assistance to those condemned to death and to provide for their burial and suffrage practices. When this purpose ceased, the church became a subsidiary of the Cathedral and was used for the catechesis of women, eventually becoming the seat of the Brotherhood of the Blessed Sacrament in 1810.
On the facade door is a bas-relief representing St. Jerome praying before the Crucifix.
The interior, rebuilt in the seventeenth century, reveals first-rate scenographic taste and rich pictorial decoration. In the span that overlooks the high altar Francesco Boccaccini painted the Assumption of Mary in 1686. Giuseppe Natali (1661-1720) is credited with the creation of various decorations and ornaments.
The decoration of the apsidal area is the work of Giovanni Battista Zaist 1700-1757 ), who represents one of the most elegant spirits of the Lombard Baroque. Zaist provided the fanciful architectural perspectives, with the depiction of staircases with sloping steps, which give the area of the presbytery an elegant theatrical effect. The four evangelists painted on the spandrels of the dome are attributed to Angelo Massarotti (1654-1723) – according to some critics – and to Francesco Monti (1685-17 68) – according to others. In 1743 Francesco Monti painted the great fresco of the central dome with two groups dominating the composition: the risen Christ amongst the glory of angels and the figure of a young man supported by an angel. Monti is also the author of the medallion painted above the entrance of Christ in the garden. The altarpiece above the altar on the right is also attributed to Monti, depicting the Madonna with St. Jerome (1743). The altarpiece on the left with the beheading of St. John the Baptist is an early work by Giacomo Guerrini (1721-1793), contemporary with the works of Monti and one of the masterpieces of Cremona of the eighteenth century.
In 1790, the current statue located above in the apse of the black Madonna, a statue which came from the suppressed church of Santa Croce (Holy Cross), replaced the statue of Our Lady of Sorrows adoring the Crucifix.
Next to the presbytery, a door leads into the chapel that served until 1809 for the burial of persons who were executed.
decoration of the volt
Celebrations in St. Jerome
08:00 am every weekday morning