St. Robert Bellarmine

Today I greet readers and friends who are blessed with the name “Robert”.  Happy Novus Ordo Name Day.  You get two Name Days, since the traditional day is 13 May.

In particular I congratulate His Excellency Most Reverend Robert C. Morlino, the Extraordinary Ordinary, Bishop of Madison.

Let’s have a look at St. Robert’s entry in the post-Conciliar Martyrologium Romanum of 2005.

Sancti Roberti Bellarmino, episcopi et Ecclesiae doctoris, e Societate Iesu, qui praeclare de theologicis temporis sui controversiis peculiari ac subtili habitu disputavit; cardinalis renuntiatus, ad ministerium pastorale in Ecclesiae Capuana magnopere sese impendit et tandem Romae ad Apostolicae Sedis et fidei doctrinae defensionem plurimos suscepit labores.

St. Robert’s body may be venerated in Rome at the Church of St. Ignatius, Sant’Ignazio, which is a must visit for many reasons.  He was deeply involved – and positively – in the “Galileo Affair”.

Would you all like to stretch your Latin muscles?  I’ll turn on the moderation queue so that you can’t copy from each other’s papers.  Other comments (without translations) about St. Robert I’ll let through as I find them.

Not long ago, I was privileged to see a letter with a signature of St. Robert Bellarmine.  HERE


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  1. Suburbanbanshee says:

    St. Robert Bellarmine was a great teacher of natural law and the limits of royal power, and hence one of the philosophical sources of American constitutional law and our independence.

  2. StWinefride says:

    Today is also the Feast of the Stigmata of St Francis. St Robert Bellarmine had a great devotion to St Francis and was especially devoted to honouring the stigmata that St Francis had received at La Verna. From Fr Hardon’s archives:

    Bellarmine urged that there be a special feast in honor of the five stigmata of St. Francis. Bellarmine had an important position in the Vatican and he made sure that the feast was introduced in the Church, despite strong opposition. As Providence arranged, Robert Bellarmine died on the feast of the stigmata of St. Francis, September 17. And in the revised liturgical calendar St. Bellarmine’s feast, which used to be celebrated on May 13, has been moved to September 17. Among Franciscans September 17 is the feast of the stigmata of St. Francis. In the Universal Church it is the feast of St. Robert Bellarmine.

    St Robert Bellarmine, St Francis of Assisi – pray for us!

  3. YoungLatinMassGuy says:

    “Robertus” nomen mihi est!

    I’ll leave the translating to others, as I’m too lazy to translate Latin today, Ancient Greek on the hand, there’s always energy to translate that language.

  4. twele923 says:

    [The memorial] of Saint Robert Bellarmine, bishop and doctor of the Church, of the Society of Jesus, who outstandingly examined the theological controversies of his time in a unique and precise style; after being elected cardinal, he earnestly devoted himself to pastoral ministry in the Church at Capua, and also undertook more labors at Rome for the defense of the Apostolic See and the doctrine of the faith.

  5. msc says:

    I’m sure there are already half a dozen translations by now, but I’ll go for it anyway. I am, however, a bit puzzled by the -o in Bellarmino (indeclinable?): [Not here: Robertus Bellarminus, in Latin] “[The memorial] of Saint Robert Bellarmine, bishop and doctor of the Church, of the Society of Jesus, who illustriously debated about the theological controversies of his time with a distinct and subtle character [or, perhaps, “in a distinct and subtle manner”]; having renounced a cardinalship, he greatly dedicated himself to pastoral ministry in the Church in Capua and after some time undertook at Rome very many labors for the defence of the Apostolic Seat and the doctrine of the faith.”

  6. mysticalrose says:

    St. Robert Bellarmine was passed over 3 times for the papacy (I think anyway). It’s good to remember that those three men are not canonized saints, but St. Robert is. It’s a nice reminder in these canonization-happy times that Pope does not automatically equal saint, no matter how popular.

  7. msc says:

    [Not here: Robertus Bellarminus, in Latin]: So that’s even more confusing–Roberti is genitive, so why is Bellarmino dative or ablative? [I double checked in the book. I got it right. I suspect it is a typo. It may be that the [Italian] proof reader blew it. That happens, especially in this time of Latin ignorance.]

  8. Parochus says:

    “Bellarminus” is the Latinized form of his surname, but in the vernacular (i.e., Italian) it was “Bellarmino.” Although many authors in the early modern period (and some even today!) used Latinized forms of their surnames, the practice adopted in the current liturgical books is to leave surnames in the vernacular. The was also the general practice before Vatican II: in preconciliar editions of both the Roman Missal and the Roman Martyrology you’ll see “Roberti Bellarmino,” and similarly, “Antonii Mariae Zaccaria.” However, the preconciliar books were not entirely consistent because they also had some Latinized forms such as “Vincentii a Paulo” where you might expect “de Paul,” and “Alfonsi Mariae de Ligorio” instead of “de’ Liguori,” as you now find in the current Latin liturgical books.

  9. FrankWalshingham says:

    Every Catholic should read Cardinal Bellarmino’s booklet called “The Torments of Hell”.
    For more on how his writings influenced Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence see:

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