Pope Highlights Robert Bellarmine at General Audience
Tags: Jesuit, jesuits, Pope Benedict XVI, Robert Bellarmine, Society of Jesus
Pope Benedict XVI continued his series on the great Doctors of the Church by highlighting Jesuit theologian Saint Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621) at his weekly general audience on Feb. 23.
Bellarmine offered an important model for prayer, which should be the inspiration for every action, the pope told an estimated 7,500 people who gathered for the audience.
A person in prayer “listens to the word of God, is satisfied with contemplating grandeur, isn’t wrapped up in oneself, but is happy to abandon oneself to God,” he said.
The pope said a unique feature of Bellarmine’s spirituality was his deeply felt perception of God’s immense goodness; he felt like a true child of God, whose love was a source of great joy. The saint also taught that “who finds God, finds everything; who loses God, loses everything,” the pope said.
Bellarmine entered the Society of Jesus in 1560 and was later made cardinal and archbishop of Capua, Italy. He held high office in the service of the pope as a member of several congregations and head of Holy See diplomatic missions to Venice and England. During his final years he wrote a number of books on spirituality in which he condensed the fruits of his annual spiritual exercises. He was beatified and canonized by Pope Pius XI, who also declared him a Doctor of the Church. [Vatican Radio & CNS]