Friday, May 13, 2011
May 13: St Robert Bellarmine, Memorial
St Robert Bellarmine SJ (1542-121) was an important figure of the Counter-Reformation.
He spent a good part of his career as a theological professor, before being called to Rome and receiving a number of appointments including as an Inquisitor, and Cardinal. In 1602 he was appointed Archbishop of Capua.
He combatted heresy and dissent vigorously, and engaged in many controversies (including an interesting case of a priest making the oath of obedience to James I of England, which St Robert took him to task for).
From a modern perspective though, his most enduring works are surely his spiritual ones, particularly his book on the art of dying well, and his excellent commentaries on the psalms.
He was canonised only in 1930, and declared a Doctor of the Church a year later.