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St. Robert Bellarmine,
Bishop & Doctor of the Church
Optional Memorial
September 17th

O God, who adorned the Bishop Saint Robert Bellarmine
with wonderful learning and virtue
to vindicate the faith of your Church,
grant, through his intercession,
that in the integrity of that same faith
your people may always find joy.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.

First Reading:Wisdom 7:7-10, 15-16
Therefore I prayed, and understanding was given me; I called upon God, and the spirit of wisdom came to me.

I preferred her to scepters and thrones, and I accounted wealth as nothing in comparison with her.

Neither did I liken to her any priceless gem, because all gold is but a little sand in her sight, and silver will be accounted as clay before her.

I loved her more than health and beauty, and I chose to have her rather than light,
because her radiance never ceases.

May God grant that I speak with judgment and have thought worthy of what I have received, for he is the guide even of wisdom and the corrector of the wise.

For both we and our words are in his hand, as are all understanding and skill in crafts.

Gospel: Matthew 7:21-29
"Not every one who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.'

"Every one then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And every one who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell; and great was the fall of it."

And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.

Paul VI Audience Hall

Saint Robert Bellarmine

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Our catechesis today deals with Saint Robert Bellarmine, the great Jesuit theologian and Doctor of the Church. In the period following the Council of Trent, Saint Robert taught theology, first at Louvain and then in the Roman College. His most famous work, the Controversiae, sought to address the issues raised by Protestant theology from a serene historical and theological perspective, while his most popular work remained his brief catechism of Christian doctrine. He also served as spiritual father to the Jesuit students of the Roman College, including Saint Aloysius Gonzaga. Saint Robert was created Cardinal by Pope Clement VIII, and made Archbishop of Capua, where he spent three years in preaching and pastoral activity before being recalled to Rome and the service of the Holy See. In his later years, he composed a number of works of spirituality which reflect his deep Ignatian formation, with its stress on meditation on the mysteries of Christ and the loving imitation of the Lord. May the example of Saint Robert Bellarmine inspire us to integrate our work and our pursuit of Christian holiness, to grow in closeness to God through prayer, and to contribute to the Church’s renewal through our own inner conversion to the Lord and the truth of his word.

© Copyright 2011 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

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