Jesuit saints & blesseds: September 2011 Archives

Saint Robert Bellarmine

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San Roberto Bellarmino.jpg

Today's saint is special to me for many personal reasons, one of which is the fact that he gave himself to the Lord for his total and unreserved use. One can claim to like Bellarmine for his intellect, or the way he worked with controversial Catholic preachers and theologians and Protestants, or with Galileo, or his service to several popes, but what about his capacity to love the Lord and his neighbor, and what about his ability to know his limitations and his gifts, or his capacity to live the Beatitudes? 

Each time I am in Rome I make a path to St Ignatius's Church where Bellarmine is buried in the third chapel on the right as you face the main altar, near to his dear friend, Saint Aloyius Gonzaga, to pray for several intentions, among them are: theologians, the pope, the Jesuits, +Avery Robert Dulles and of course, myself.

The Roman Martyrology (2005) has this entry for Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621): 

The feast of St. Robert Bellarmine, from the Society of Jesus, Doctor of the Church and bishop, who was outstanding at arguing the theological controversies of his day. He resigned his red hat, then gave himself wholeheartedly both to pastoral ministry in Capua, with great success, and took up very many challenges in defense of the doctrine of the faith at the Holy See in Rome.

Saint Peter Claver

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St Peter Claver sees Jesus Christ and the Virgin before death.jpgToday the Church liturgically remembers one of her missionary saints, Saint Peter Claver, (1580-1654) a Spainard who came from a very modest but known family heritage. Claver was influenced by what he heard and what he read in Jesuit houses of the missionaries. The brother porter-saint of Claver's Jesuit house of studies, Alphonsus Rodriquez, frequently spoke of the need great work he could do in sharing the Gospel in mission lands. So moved to serve the Divine Majesty in a distant land, he requested of his superiors to be sent on mission to the New World. In what is known today as Columbia, South America, Claver worked with the negro-slaves teaching them the faith, and attending to their human and spiritual needs. In Claver's eyes he took Saint Paul's teaching that there are no distinctions in the Kingdom between Jew and Greek, slave or free, man or woman: all are the adopted children of God. As one person put it, for 33 years Father Peter Claver lavished love on the slaves that transcended the natural order. It was a love that confounded his religious superiors and the leaders in civil society of his day. It is reported that the saint brought to Christ 300K souls.

Let us remember in prayer the missionaries and those who work to evangelize.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]



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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Jesuit saints & blesseds category from September 2011.

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