Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Feast Of St. Robert Bellarmine, S.J. Doctor Of The Church

The Catholic Church remembers the life and times of St. Robert Bellarmine (San Roberto Belarmino), the patron of canonists and a Doctor of the Universal Church. Masses and novenas will be held in commemoration of the feast of the well-venerated Italian Jesuit priest in several Catholic churches in many parts of the world, particularly at the Church of St. Ignatius in Rome, Italy where his sacred relics are kept. Devotees and pilgrims traditionally gather at the church to pray in thanksgiving, ask for favors, and venerate his relics on his feast day. Known as a great theologian, teacher, scholar, charity worker, and writer, his masterpiece, the Disputations on the Controversies, is considered as the most complete defense of the Catholic faith ever published, showing a deep understanding of the Holy Bible and the Fathers of the Church. One of his hymns on St. Mary Magdalene has been included in the Roman Catholic breviary. He also wrote inspiring catechisms and later became the spiritual father of St. Aloysius Gonzaga, the patron of the youth. Born on Oct. 4, 1542 in Montepulciano, Italy, St. Robert was appointed cardinal in 1598 and bishop in 1602. He also served as the head of the Vatican library. He died in 1621 and was canonized by Pope Pius XI on June 29, 1930. He was declared Doctor of the Church in 1931. (Christina I. Hermoso)

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