About Today

Saint Robert Bellarmine By anonymous, Italian School (istitutoaveta.it) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

September 17

Saint Robert Bellarmine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

Optional Memorial

Born in Tuscany in 1542, St. Robert Bellarmine was the nephew of Pope Marcellus II. He entered the Society of Jesus at 18 and studied philosophy and theology. He became a distinguished professor and preacher, drawing multi-denominational crowds to his homilies. He was appointed to teach theology at the Roman College, where he specialized in treating the theological controversies of the day. During this time, he wrote the renowned De Controversiis and worked on a revision of the Latin Vulgate Bible.

In 1597, Clement VIII made him Examiner of Bishops and Consultor of the Holy Office as well as his personal theologian. Next, St. Robert Bellarmine worked as mediator in the doctrinal conflicts regarding the theology of grace. He was appointed Archbishop of Capua and was involved in the controversy over Galileo’s teaching that the earth was not the center of the universe. He advocated for continuing education for adults, religious and secular. His scholarly works include On the Ascent of the Mind of God and On the Art of Dying Well. He was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1931 and is the patron saint of catechists.[1]

Written by Sarah Ciotti
Reviewed by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB, STD

[1] Catholicpedia: The Original Catholic Encyclopedia (1917) for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. s.v. “St. Robert Francis Romulus Bellarmine.”
Note: Optional Memorials and Commemorations are optional celebrations and, at present, we do not include content specific to these special days. This “About Today” is provided so that you can celebrate this Saint as you worship Christ.

The English translation of The Liturgy of the Hours (Four Volumes) ©1974, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. Readings and Old and New Testament Canticles (except the Gospel Canticles) are from the New American Bible © 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C.. Used with permission. All rights reserved. The DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media follows the liturgical calendar for the United States. The 1970 edition of the New American Bible as published in the Liturgy of the Hours is approved for use only in the United States. DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media is © 2006-2022 Surgeworks, Inc. All rights reserved.

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