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St. Robert Bellarmine

Bishop and Doctor
1542 - 1621

    Saint Robert Bellarmine was born in Italy in 1542. He became a member of the relatively young Society of Jesus and was ordained a priest in 1570. Ill health was his cross all during his life, but he was filled with enthusiasm and zeal. St. Bellarmine became a great defender of the faith at a time of turbulence and confusion. He was named a cardinal by Pope Clement VIII on the grounds that "he had not is equal for learning." St. Bellarmine wrote two Catechisms and is called the "patron of those who teach the faith to youth." He worked for justice and was convinced that people with wealth had a duty of sharing their surplus with the poor. Robert was serene, joyful and optimistic. He had a playful sense of humor and was addicted to puns. He was canonized a saint in 1930 by Pope Pius XI. His dying words on September 17th were "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus." September 17th is now recognized as his feast day.

    "Questions that pertain to the faith are everybody's concern.... Therefore they should be discussed in the full light of day, and not secretly, with a mere handful of advisers."

    "Look up in wonder, my soul, at the infinite goodness of your Creator, who carries and conserves all things so lovingly, despite not needing their works."

-St. Robert Bellarmine