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

Father Martin Irwin Rock, SJ, longtime pastor of Jesuit parishes in Ogden, Utah and elsewhere, entered into God’s peace October 9 at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center, Los Gatos. He was 89 and had been a member of the Society of Jesus for 72 years, 58 as a priest.

Pope Francis canonized 35 new saints on October 15, including Brazilian Jesuit St. André de Soveral.

Father Norbert Jerome Rigali, SJ, retired professor of philosophy and religious studies at the University of San Diego and other Catholic universities, entered into God’s peace October 4 at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center, Los Gatos, Calif., after a long illness. He was 88.

The Bellarmine Preparatory (Tacoma) School Robotics team recently received a $10,000 Best Buy Community Grant. The grant will be used to extend the team’s community outreach with local Boys and Girls Clubs.

W. Kamau Bell was named the Frank Sinatra Chair in the Performing Arts at Santa Clara University for 2017-18. Bell is a critically acclaimed sociopolitical comedian and host of the Emmy Award-winning hit CNN documentary series “United Shades of America.” As Sinatra Artist-in-Residence, Bell will mentor and engage with students, faculty, and the Santa Clara University community.

Today the Society of Jesus celebrates the feast of St. Francis Borgia, SJ (1510-1572), the third Superior General of the Society of Jesus.

Father William Hayes, SJ, a fixture at Jesuit High School in Portland for 32 years where he served as vice principal, president, trustee, chancellor, planned giving director, and chaplain, entered into God’s peace September 26 at the Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in Los Gatos, Calif. He was 89.

view all news

Search news

Publications

Mission Magazine - Fall 2017

Mission Magazine - Fall 2016

Mission Magazine - Spring 2016


Update
Summer, 2017

Update
Spring, 2017

Update
Winter, 2016


Jesuit Retreat Center of Los Altos
The Jesuit Retreat Center of Los Altos has offered prayerful solitude and inspiring vistas to those seeking spiritual rejuvenation since 1925.