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St. Robert Bellarmine
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St. Robert Bellarmine

About Saint Robert Bellarmine

Saint Robert Bellarmine was born on October 4, 1542 in Siena, Italy.  He died on September 17, 1621 in Rome.  Saint Robert belonged to the Jesuit Order and was also a Cardinal of the Catholic Church.  He was a key player in the Catholic Reformation of the Middle Ages.  Saint Robert Bellarmine was canonized on June 29, 1930 by Pope Pius XI.

Early Life of Saint Robert

Saint Robert Bellarmine was born into a noble family, although they had no money.  Saint Robert’s brilliance was noticed when he was only a boy.  He could recite Virgil from memory and he wrote poetry in both Italian and Latin.  Saint Robert also composed hymns.  One of his hymns written about Mary Magdalene is still seen in the Breviary.

 Saint Robert

Saint Robert’s father always wished that his son would take up a political career.  Saint Robert decided upon entering the Society of Jesus instead.  In 1560, he entered the novitiate in Rome and stayed there for three years.  From there, he moved to a Jesuit monastery in Piedmont and studied Greek.

Saint Robert Bellarmine also studied theology at the University of Padua and continued his studies at Leuven in Brussels.  He became the first Jesuit to teach a course in the university.  He lived in Leuven for seven years.

Writings of Saint Robert Bellermine

Saint Robert Bellermine spent eleven years writing the Disputationes, which systematized the religious controversies of the time.  The popularity of his writing spread throughout Europe and causes a severe blow to Protestantism.  The Disputationes of Saint Robert revived the Catholic Church.  The work consists of four volumes:

  • The word of God, Christ, and the Pope
  • The authority of ecumenical councils
  • The sacraments
  • Divine grace, free will, justification, and good works

Retirement

When Saint Robert Bellarmine retired, he wrote several books geared to the ordinary person.  These books helped Catholics to understand and strengthen their spiritual lives.

  • The Mind’s ascent to God
  • The Art of Dying Well
  • The Seven Words on the Cross
The Feast of Saint Robert Bellarmine

The Feast of Saint Robert Bellermine is celebrated on September 17.  Many Catholics recite prayers to Saint Robert Bellermine and wear a Saint Robert medal or a Saint Robert pendant in thanks to this historic saint.  Wearing a Saint Robert necklace is a reminder of living a spiritual life and reading the scripture each day.

 St. Robert Medal Pendant
Saint Robert Bellarmine


 

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