There is a magnificent monastery just outside Lisbon, called St. Jerome’s Monastery, in Belem on the coast of Portugal. It stands a short train ride from Lisbon, on the way to Cascais, 19 miles from Lisbon on the Atlantic. The religious order of St. Jerome is known as the hieronymites. They are cloistered and came into being in the latter half of the 14th century, but followed San Jeronimo and his writings, who followed the Rule of St. Augustine from his writings on poverty, chastity, obedience and detachment from the worldly.
Living around 300-400, St. Jerome was a priest, confessor, and theologian, who became a Doctor of the Church. He had traveled throughout all the Devine places of the world, giving him clarity of the Devine World. He was extremely fluent in different languages, and always wanted to learn more. So when asked to translate most of the Old Testament from Hebrew, Jerome started with the book of Kings. The task was so huge, Jerome attempted to quit many times, but something kept him going. His Vulgate Bible is now used in Catholicism. His body is somewhere within the Sistine Chapel.
The monastery named after Jerome was built by Henry the Navigator, Duke of Viseu, Vasco De Gamma, enhanced the monastery and chapel with Gold resources from his travels to the orient. With that expansion, the cloister became a place of prayer for sailors entering and leaving the port.
In the 1600’s and after numerous more expansions, four of the eight children of King John IV were temporarily entombed. They were later moved. In the late 1600’s King Sebastian and Cardinal Henrique were buried in the Transept Chapels. Today it is a UNESCO site.
Once your visit to the Monastery is completed, jump back on the train for a quick skip to the city of Cascais. Situated right on the Atlantic, the winds can be blowing, but the views are well worth it. Find a restaurant along the water and enjoy good food and a brew. Then take a walk along the shore.
What to read more fun adventures from Portugal? Check out “But The Fado is Free” posts here…