St Robert Bellarmine was a cardinal and the Archbishop of Capua in Campania, Italy.
He was born on October 4 1542 in Montepulciano, Italy.
He died on September 17 1621 at the age of 78 years in Rome, Papal States.
We celebrate his feast day on September 17 every year in the Catholic Church.
|Saint Robert Bellarmine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church Biography
|Date of Birth
|October 4 1542
|Place of Birth
|Cardinal and the Archbishop of Capua, Campania, Italy
|Place of Work
|Date of Death
|September 17 1621 (aged 78)
|Place of Death
|Rome, Papal States, Italy
|By Pope Pius XI on May 13 1923 in Rome
|By Pope Pius XI on June 29 1930 in Rome
|Patron Saint of
St Robert Bellarmine’s Life History
Robert Bellarmine’s father was called Vincenzo Bellarmino and his mother was Cinzia Cervini. They hailed from a noble family although they were poor. He was the third of ten children.
Bellarmine loved to compose poems in Latin and Italian like his hymn on Mary Magdalene in the Roman Breviary.
In 1560, he entered the Jesuit novitiate in Rome and stayed there for three years. Thereafter, his Provincial Superior, Francesco Adorno sent him to the University of Padua where he studied theology.
His lecturers oriented him to St Thomas Aquinas‘s Summa Theologica. When he later went to the University of Leuven in Brabant, Belgium, he finished his theology studies and was ordained as a Priest. He also became a professor at the University of Leuven where he taught the Summa Theologica.
Due to poor health, he went back to Italy and Pope Gregory XIII asked him to teach polemical theology at the Roman College (now Pontifical Gregorian University).
After the murder of King Henry III of France, Pope Sixtus V sent a delegation to Paris for negotiations and Bellarmine was given the task of being the theologian in that entourage.
In 1592, Bellarmine became the rector of the Roman College and thereafter in 1599 he was made a cardinal.
When he became a cardinal, Pope Clement VIII made him a Cardinal Inquisitor whereby he would serve as a judge in trials.
He became the archbishop of Capua in 1602 and effected the decrees of the Council of Trent that were meant to enforce reforms in the Church.
There was a decree that was to be released to condemn the postulate that it is the earth that goes around the sun as opposed to the Church’s stance that it is the sun that goes around the earth.
Therefore, Bellarmine notified Galileo di Vincenzo Bonaiuti de’ Galilei, of that forthcoming decree and advised him to abandon that doctrine.
Bellarmine insisted that there needs to be more proof of Galileo’s claims, otherwise, the Church would go with what the Bible says in the Books of Genesis, the Psalms, Ecclesiastes, and Joshua.
Bellarmine’s most famous work, apart from his published Catechism book, is the “Disputationes de controversiis christianae fidei” Disputations on the Controversies of the Christian Faith. These writings were in defense of the Catholic faith against the arguments of the Protestant reformers.
One particularly interesting topic is where he argued that temporal rulers do not derive their authority to rule from God but from the people they govern.
He also said that the Pope is not the temporal ruler of the whole world. Pope Sixtus V and Pope Urban VII were not very amused about that.
St. Bellarmine spent the next 11 years teaching and writing “Disputations on the Controversies,” a three-volume defense of the Catholic faith against the arguments of the Protestant reformers.
Some of his writings stirred social, religious and political issues of the time like when he argued with King James I of England
St. Bellarmine was a very generous man. He gave to the poor most of his material possessions in his house saying that the walls of his house wouldn’t catch a cold. He is even known to have ransomed a soldier who had deserted from the army.
Saint Robert Bellarmine’s Death
Bellarmine went into retirement at St. Andrew Jesuit College in Rome where on September 17 1621, he died at the age of 78.
Saint Robert Bellarmine was beatified by Pope Pius XI on May 13 1923 in Rome
Saint Robert Bellarmine was canonized by Pope Pius XI on June 29 1930 in Rome and declared a Doctor of the Church in 1931.
Saint Robert Bellarmine’s remains are preserved at the Roman College’sChurch of Saint Ignatius.
Saint Robert Bellarmine Feast Day
We celebrate his feast day on September 17 every year in the Catholic Church as a memorial.
Saint Robert Bellarmine is the Patron Saint of
- St. Robert’s School, Darjeeling, West Bengal, India
- Fairfield University
- Canon lawyers
- Bellarmine University
- Bellarmine Preparatory School
- Bellarmine College Preparatory
- Archdiocese of Cincinnati
Institutions, Places, and Churches Named after Saint Robert Bellarmine
- St. Robert Bellarmine Roman-Catholic grade school, Omaha, Nebraska, United States
- St. Robert Bellarmine Church in Warrington, Pennsylvania, United States
- St. Robert Bellarmine Church in Omaha, Nebraska, United States
- St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Church, Burbank, California
- St Robert Bellarmine Roman Catholic Church, Bootle, United Kingdom
- St Robert Bellarmine Church, Glasgow, Scotland
- St Robert Bellarmine Catholic Primary School, Bootle, United Kingdom
- St Robert Bellarmine Catholic Church, Burbank, California.
- Saint Robert Bellarmine Parish in Chicago, Illinois, United States
- Co-Cathedral of St. Robert Bellarmine New Jersey, United States
- Bellarmino Dormitory in Jesuit Sogang University in Seoul, South Korea
- Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky, United States
- Bellarmine Preparatory School in Tacoma, Washington, United States
- Bellarmine Hall in Seattle University, Washington, United States
- Bellarmine Hall in Saint Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
- Bellarmine Hall in Loyola University Maryland, United States
- Bellarmine Hall in Fairfield University, United States
- Bellarmine Hall in Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines
- Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose, California, United States
- Bellarmine Chapel at Xavier University, Cincinnati Ohio, United States
Saint Robert Bellarmine Quote
Charity is that with which no man is lost, and without which no man is saved.
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