News
Society of Jesus Celebrates Feast of St. Robert Bellarmine, SJ

September 15, 2017 — Sunday, September 17, is the feast day of Saint Robert Bellarmine (1542–1621), a Jesuit who was one of the most important cardinals of the Catholic Reformation and became a Doctor of the Church. Despite being one of the most powerful men in Rome, he lived an austere life and gave most of his money to the poor. 

St. Bellarmine was born to an impoverished noble Italian family, and his early intellectual accomplishments gave his father hope that St. Bellarmine would restore the family’s fortunes through a political career. His mother’s wish that he enter the Society of Jesus prevailed.

He entered the Society in 1560, and after his ordination he taught at the University of Louvain in Belgium, where he became famous for his Latin sermons. In 1576 he accepted the invitation of Pope Gregory XIII to teach polemical theology at the new Roman College.

St. Bellarmine spent the next 11 years teaching and writing “Disputations on the Controversies,” a three-volume defense of the Catholic faith against the arguments of the Protestant reformers. A confidant to the popes, St. Bellarmine held a number of positions, including rector of the Roman College, examiner of bishops, cardinal inquisitor, archbishop of Capua and bishop of Montepulciano.

Through his writings St. Bellarmine was involved in the political, religious and social issues of the time. He argued with King James I of England and also communicated the decree of condemning the Copernican doctrine of the movements of the earth and sun, issued by the Congregation of the Index to Galileo Galilei in 1616.

St. Bellarmine gave generously to the poor and gave up most of his material possessions. Once, he gave the tapestries from his living quarters to the poor, saying that the walls wouldn’t catch cold. While he took little regard for his own comforts, he always made sure his servants and aides had everything they needed.

He retired to the Jesuit college of St. Andrew in Rome, where he died on September 17, 1621, at age 78. St. Bellarmine was canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1930 and declared a Doctor of the Church in 1931. [Sources: Ignatian Spirituality, Catholic.org]





Recent News

December 6, 2017 — One year after his death, the Jesuit Curia in Rome debuted a website dedicated to Father Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, SJ, 29th Superior General of the Jesuits.

December 4, 2017 — The Jesuits in English Canada pray in thanksgiving for the life of Father Milton McWatch who quietly passed away on November 29, 2017, at the age of 80.

December 3, 2017 — Today marks the feast day of St. Francis Xavier, SJ, one of the first Jesuits, considered by some to be the greatest missionary since the time of the Apostles.

November 23, 2017 — Brother Guy Consolmagno, director of the Vatican observatory, sees no conflict between science and faith.

November 13, 2017 — A significant relic of St. Francis Xavier is coming to Canada for a month-long, 14-city pilgrimage beginning with Catholic Christian Outreach’s (CCO) Rise Up conference in Ottawa Dec. 28-Jan. 1.

On the 28th anniversary of the brazen and vicious killings of six Jesuits and two women in El Salvador, we share their stories.

November 15, 2017 — Members of Ecojesuit, the Jesuits’ worldwide ecological network, report from Bonn.

view all news

Search news

Publications

Campion's Brag

Jesuit (Summer 2017)

OpenSpace (Jun 2017)



Ignatian Centre
The Ignatian Centre is a Jesuit ministry run by laity dedicated to bringing the Spiritual E...