St. Robert Bellarmine, of whom Pope Clement VIII said: “The Church of God had not his equal in learning,” was born in 1542 at Montepulciano and died in 1621. He entered the Society of Jesus, was made a Cardinal, and distinguished himself by his teaching, preaching, writing and defense of the rights of the Church. During St. Aloysius’ last years, St. Robert was his spiritual director. He was the beatified in 1923, canonized and declared a Doctor of the Church in 1931. He is a patron of catechetical instruction, and members of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine may gain a plenary indulgence on his feast day under the usual conditions.
(Source: The New Roman Missal by Father Lasance)
Commentary: St. Robert Bellarmine was born shortly after the beginning of the Protestant Reformation in Europe (1516), the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the New World (present day Mexico, 1531), the founding of the Jesuit Order by St. Ignatius Loyola (1534) and was still a young priest at the closing of the Council of Trent (1564).
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