St. Robert Bellarmine
(1542-1621)
 
         
   
Feast Day – September 17  
Patron Saint of: Catechists
 
  Catechumens  
     
     
   
     
 
         
 
Prayer to Saint Brobert Bellarmine
 


 

 

Blessed Jesus, Saint Robert is the patron saint of catechumens because he wrote two catechisms and devoted much of his time to teaching the Faith to children. He also wrote a revised version of the Bible.

I ask him to pray for those in my church who teach the Faith, and for their students. Bless the teachers, Lord, and anoint the minds of those receiving instruction to understand it so powerfully that their lives are changed by it forever.

Raise up more opportunities—including parish missions—for church members to learn the Faith more deeply, and inspire large numbers of people to attend these events.

Saint Robert, pray for us. Amen.

 

 

 

     
 
About Saint Robert Bellarmine
 
 

When Robert Bellarmine was ordained in 1570, the study of Church history and the fathers of the Church were in a sad state of neglect. A promising scholar from his youth in Tuscany, he devoted his energy to these two subjects, as well as to Scripture, in order to systematize Church doctrine against the attacks of the Protestant Reformers. He was the first Jesuit to become a professor at Louvain.

His most famous work is his three-volume Disputations on the Controversies of the Christian faith. Particularly noteworthy are the sections on the temporal power of the pope and the role of the laity. He incurred the anger of monarchists in England and France by showing the divine-right-of-kings theory untenable. He developed the theory of the indirect power of the pope in temporal affairs; although he was defending the pope against the Scottish philosopher Barclay, he also incurred the ire of Pope Sixtus V.

Bellarmine was made a cardinal by Pope Clement VIII on the grounds that "he had not his equal for learning." While he occupied apartments in the Vatican, Bellarmine relaxed none of his former austerities. He limited his household expenses to what was barely essential, eating only the food available to the poor. He was known to have ransomed a soldier who had deserted from the army and he used the hangings of his rooms to clothe poor people, remarking, "The walls won't catch cold."

Among many activities, he became theologian to Pope Clement VIII, preparing two catechisms which have had great influence in the Church.

The last major controversy of Bellarmine's life came in 1616 when he had to admonish his friend Galileo, whom he admired. Bellarmine delivered the admonition on behalf of the Holy Office, which had decided that the heliocentric theory of Copernicus (the sun as stationary) was contrary to Scripture. The admonition amounted to a caution against putting forward—other than as a hypothesis—theories not yet fully proved. This shows that saints are not infallible.

Bellarmine died on September 17, 1621. The process for his canonization was begun in 1627 but was delayed until 1930 for political reasons, stemming from his writings. In 1930, Pope Pius XI canonized him and the next year declared him a doctor of the Church.

 

 
     
       

 

 

Our Relic of Saint Roberti Card. Bellarmino Ep., Conf., Eccl. Doct., e Soc. Jesu is certified by the Postulator General of the Society of Jesus.

It is a small fragment of bone and is dated September 5th, 1974.

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