St Paula

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Saint Of The Day

Widow. This early Christian saint came from the noblest of Roman families, the Scipios and Gracchis. She was happily married and had five children: four daughters, Blaesilla, Paulina, Eustochium, and Rufina and a son, Toxotius. Tragedy struck when she was only 32, when her husband and her daughter Rufina both died. After going through a long period of mourning, Paula found new purpose in life, when she met St Jerome. She became a Christian and devoted the rest of her life to caring for the poor and sick.

Together with her daughter Eustochium and other companions, she went on pilgrimage to the Holy Land and Egypt, where they visited the hermits. Eventually they settled in Bethlehem under the direction of Jerome. Here she built a monastery for men, a convent for women an a guest house for pilgrims.

Paula stayed in Bethlehem for the rest of her life with her daughter and granddaughter. She died on this day in 404 and is said to be buried under the Church of the Nativity.