Friday, May 13, 2011

Meet the Doctors: St. Robert Bellarmine


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From Matins of the Feast of St. Robert Bellarmine, Bishop, Confessor, Doctor (May 13)
Source: Traditional Roman Breviary (1911): www.breviary.net

Lesson iv

Montepulciano, in northern Italy, birthplace of St. Robert Bellarmine
Robértus, Politiánus, e patrícia Bellarminórum gente, matrem pientíssimam hábuit Cynthiam Cervíni, Marcélli Papæ secúndi sorórem.  Exímia pietáte et castíssimis móribus quamprímum enítuit, id unum exóptans, ut Deo soli placéret et ánimas Christo lucrifáceret.  Pátrium Societátis Jesu collégium summa cum ingénii et modéstiæ laude frequentávit ; ac duodevigínti annos natus, Romæ eámdem Societátem ingréssus, religiosárum virtútum ómnibus exémplo fuit.  Eménso in Románo Collégio philosophíæ currículo, missus est primum Floréntiam, tum Montem Regálem ; deínde Patávium ad sacram theologíam addiscéndam, ac póstea Lovánium, ubi concionatóris múnere, nondum sacérdos, mirífice functus est.  Lovánii prætérea, sacerdótio auctus, theologíam ita dócuit, ut plúrimos hæréticos ad Ecclésiæ unitátem redúxerit, ac theólogus per Európam claríssimus haberétur, eúmque Sanctus Cárolus Mediolanénsis epíscopus aliíque veheménter sibi expéterent.
Robert, a native of Montepulciano and of the noble family of Bellarmine, had for his mother the most pious Cynthia Cervini, sister of Pope Marcellus II.  From the first he was conspicuous for exemplary piety and most chaste manners, earnestly desiring this one thing, to please God alone and to win souls to Christ.  He attended the college of the Society of Jesus in his native town where he was highly commended for his intelligence and modesty.  At the age of eighteen he entered the same Society at Rome, and was a model of all religious virtues.  Having passed through the course of philosophy at the Roman College, he was sent first to Florence, then to Monreale, later to Padua to teach sacred theology, and afterwards to Louvain where, not yet a priest, he ably discharged the office of preacher.  After ordination at Louvain, he taught theology with such success that he brought back many heretics to the unity of the Church, and was regarded throughout Europe as a most brilliant theologian ; and St. Charles, Bishop of Milan, and others keenly sought after him.
V.  Tu autem, Dómine, miserére nobis.
R.  Deo grátias.
V.  But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us.
R.  Thanks be to God.

The University Town of Louvain, Belgium
R.  Invéni David servum meum, óleo sancto meo unxi eum : * Manus enim mea auxiliábitur ei, allelúja.
V.  Nihil profíciet inimícus in eo, et fílius iniquitátis non nocébit ei.
R.  Manus enim mea auxiliábitur ei, allelúja.
R.  I have found David my servant, with my holy oil have I anointed him. * My hand shall hold him fast, alleluia.
V.  The enemy shall not be able to do him violence ; the son of wickedness shall not hurt him.
R.  My hand shall hold him fast, alleluia.

V.  Jube domne, (Dómine) benedícere.
V.  Vouchsafe, Reverend Father (O Lord), thy blessing.
Benedíctio 5: Christus perpétuæ det nobis gáudia vitæ.
R.  Amen.
Benediction 5: May Christ bestow upon us the joys of life eternal.
R.  Amen.
Lesson v
Romam ex desidério Gregórii Papæ décimi tértii revocátus, theológicam controversiárum disciplínam trádidit in Collégio Románo : ibíque vitæ spirituális mágister constitútus, angélicum júvenem Aloísium per sanctitátis sémitas moderátus est.  Ipse Collégium Románum ac deínde Neapolitánam Societátis Jesu Provínciam ad Sancti Ignátii mentem gubernávit.  In Urbem íterum accersítus, a Cleménte octávo ad summa Ecclésiæ negótia, máximo cum christiánæ rei emoluménto, est adhíbitus : tum invítus et frustra relúctans, in Cardinálium númerum cooptátus quia, ut palam asséruit ipse Póntifex, tunc non habébat parem Ecclésia Dei quod ad doctrínam.  Ab eódem Pontífice consecrátus Epíscopus, Capuánam Archidiœcésim triénnium sanctíssime administrávit : quo múnere depósito, Romæ ad mortem usque degit, integérrimus ac fidelíssimus Summi Pontíficis consiliárius.  Multa præcláre scripsit, illud méritum adéptus in primis quod, sanctum Thomam ducem et magístrum secútus, de suórum necessitáte témporum próvide cónscius, invícto doctrínæ róbore et amplíssima testimoniórum cópia e Sacris Lítteris et e Sanctórum Patrum ditíssimo fonte apte deprómpta novos erróres debellávit, traditiónis cathólicæ et Románi Pontificátus júrium strénuus præprímis adsértor.  Complúribus étiam ad pietátem fovéndam libéllis exstat insígnis ac præsértim áureo catechísmo, quem licet áliis gravíssimis negótiis disténtus, tum Cápuæ tum Romæ púeros ac rudes docére non prætermittébat.  Robértum æquǽvus Cardinális a Deo missum judicávit, qui cathólicos erudíret, pios cóleret, hæréticos profligáret ; Sanctus Francíscus Salésius doctrínæ fontem hábuit ; Summus Póntifex Benedíctus décimus quartus hæreticórum málleum dixit, ac Benedíctus décimus quintus cathólicam religiónem propagántibus et tuéntibus exémplar indicávit.
Recalled to Rome at the wish of Pope Gregory XIII, he taught the science of controversial theology at the Roman College, and there, as spiritual director he guided the angelic youth Aloysius in the paths of holiness.  He governed the Roman College and then the Neapolitan province of the Society of Jesus in accordance with the spirit of St. Ignatius.  Again summoned to Rome, he was employed by Clement VIII in the most important affairs of the Church, with the greatest advantage to the Christian state ; then against his will and in spite of opposition, he was admitted among the number of the cardinals, because, as the Pontiff publicly declared, he did not have his equal among theologians in the Church of God at the time.  He was consecrated bishop by the same Pope, and administered the archdiocese of Capua in a most saintly manner for three years : having resigned this office, he lived in Rome until his death, as a most impartial and trusty counsellor to the Supreme Pontiff.  He wrote much, and in an admirable manner.  His principal merit lieth in his complete victory in the struggle against the new errors, during which he distinguished himself as a strenuous and outstanding vindicator of Catholic tradition and the rights of the Roman See.  He gained this victory by following St. Thomas as his guide and teacher, by a prudent consideration of the needs of his times, by his irrefragable teaching, and by a most abundant wealth of testimony well-chosen from the sacred writings and from the very rich fountain of the Fathers of the Church.  He is eminently noted for very numerous short works for fostering piety, and especially for that golden Catechism, which he never failed to explain to the young and ignorant both at Capua and at Rome, although preoccupied with other very important affairs.  A contemporary cardinal declared that Robert  was sent by God the instruction of Catholics, for the guidance of the good, and for the confusion of heretics ; St. Francis de Sales regarded him as a fountain of learning ; the Supreme Pontiff  Benedict XIV called him the hammer of heretics ; and Benedict XV proclaimed him the model of promoters and defenders of the Catholic religion.
V.  Tu autem, Dómine, miserére nobis.
R.  Deo grátias.
V.  But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us.
R.  Thanks be to God.

The Cathedral Church of Capua
R.  Pósui adjutórium super poténtem, et exaltávi eléctum de plebe mea : * Manus enim mea auxiliábitur ei, allelúja.
V.  Invéni David servum meum, óleo sancto meo unxi eum.
R.  Manus enim mea auxiliábitur ei, allelúja.
R.  I have laid help upon one that is mighty, I have exalted one chosen out of the people. * My hand shall hold him fast, alleluia.
V.  I have found David, my servant, with my holy oil have I anointed him.
R.  My hand shall hold him fast, alleluia.

V.  Jube domne, (Dómine) benedícere.
V.  Vouchsafe, Reverend Father (O Lord), thy blessing.
Benedíctio 6: Ignem sui amóris accéndat Deus in córdibus nostris.
R.  Amen.
Benediction 6: May God enkindle in our hearts the fire of his holy love.
R.  Amen.
Lesson vi
Vitæ religiosæ studiosíssimus, eam, inter purpurátos Patres adléctus, in exémplum servávit.  Opes ultra necessárias nóluit ; módico famulátu, ténui cultu habitúque conténtus : suórum non stúduit opuléntiæ, ac vix addúci pótuit ut inópiam idéntidem leváret.  De se humíllime sensit, et mira fuit ánimi simplicitáte.  Deíparam diléxit únice : plures horas quotídie oratióni tríbuébat.  Parcíssime víctitans, ter in hebdómada jejunábat : in se constánter austérus, caritáte in próximum flagrávit, vocátus sæpenúmero Pater páuperum.  E baptísmate innocéntiam ne vel levi quidem culpa maculáret strénue conténdit.  Prope octogenárius, ad Sancti Andréæ in Colle Quirináli, extrémem in morbum íncidit, quem sólito virtútum fulgóre illustrávit.  Moribúndo Gregórius Papa décimus quintus et plures Cardináles adstitérunt, tantum Ecclésiæ cólumen éripi complorántes.  Die sacrórum Stígmatum sancti Francísci, quorum memóriæ ubíque celebrándæ auctor fúerat, obdormívit in Dómino, anno millésimo sexcentésimo vigésimo primo.  Mórtuo tota cívitas parentávit, Sanctum uno ore conclámans.  Eum vero Pius undécimus, Póntifex máximus, Beatórum primum ac deínde Sanctórum número adscrípsit, et paulo post, ex Sacrórum Rítuum Congregatiónis consúlto, universális Ecclésiæ Doctórem declarávit.  Ejus corpus Romæ in templo Sancti Ignátii, apud sepúlcrum Sancti Aloísii, ut ipse optárat, pia veneratióne cólitur.
He was most zealous in the religious life and he maintained that manner of life after having been chosen as one of the empurpled cardinals.  He did not want to any wealth beyond what was necessary ; he was satisfied with a moderate household, and scanty fare and clothing.  He did not strive to enrich his relatives, and he could scarcely be induced to relieve their poverty even occasionally.  He had the lowest opinion of himself, and was of wonderful simplicity of soul.  He had an extraordinary love for the Mother of God ; he spent many hours daily in prayer.  He ate very sparingly, and fasted three times a week.  Uniformly austere with himself, he burned with charity towards his neighbour, and was often called the father of the poor.  He earnestly strove that he might not stain his baptismal innocence to even  the slightest fault.  Almost eighty years old, he fell into his last illness at St. Andrew's on the Quirinal hill, and in it he shewed his usual radiant virtue.  Pope Gregory XV and many cardinals visited him on his deathbed, lamenting the loss of such a great pillar of the Church.  He fell asleep in the Lord in the year 1621, on the day of the sacred Stigmata of St. Francis, the memory of which he had been instrumental in having celebrated everywhere.  The whole city mourned his death, unanimously proclaiming him a Saint.  The Supreme Pontiff Pius XI inscribed his name, first, in the number of the Blessed, and then in that of the Saints, and shortly afterwards, by a decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites, he declared him a Doctor of the universal Church.  His body is honoured with pious veneration at Rome in the church of St. Ignatius, near the tomb of St. Aloysius, as he himself had desired.
V.  Tu autem, Dómine, miserére nobis.
R.  Deo grátias.
V.  But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us.
R.  Thanks be to God.

The Church of Sant'Ignazio, Rome
R.  Iste est, qui ante Deum magnas virtútes operátus est, et omnis terra doctrína ejus repléta est : * Ipse intercédat pro peccátis ómnium populórum, allelúja.
V.  Iste est, qui contémpsit vitam mundi, et pervénit ad cæléstia regna.
R.  Ipse intercédat pro peccátis ómnium populórum, allelúja.
V.  Glória Patri, et Fílio, et Spirítui Sancto.
R.  Ipse intercédat pro peccátis ómnium populórum, allelúja.
R.  This is he who wrought mighty deeds and valiant in the sight of God, and all the earth is filled with his doctrine: * May his intercession avail for the sins of all the people, alleluia.
V.  He was a man who despised the life of the world and attained unto the kingdom of heaven.
R.  May his intercession avail for the sins of all the people, alleluia.
V.  Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
R.  May his intercession avail for the sins of all the people, alleluia.


   
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