Bellarmine, Robert (1542-1621)

Bellarmine, Robert, one of the most celebrated Catholic theologians, was born at Montepulciano, near Siena, in 1542. He entered the order of Jesuits at Rome in 1560, and studied theology at Padua and Louvain. In 1570 he was appointed to the chair of theology at Louvain but returned to Rome in 1576 to lecture in the Roman College on controversial theology. In 1592 he became rector of the Roman College was made a cardinal in 1599 against his own inclination, and in 1602 Archbishop of Capua. After the death of Clement VIII, he contrived to escape promotion to the papal chair, but was induced by Pius V. to hold an important place in the Vatican from 1605 till his death, September 17, 1621. Bellarmine was the chief defender of the church in the 16th century. His learning and moderation gained him the praise even of Bayle. His great work is the Disputationes de Controversies Christiana; Fidei (3 vols. Rome, 1581). His Life was written in Italian by the Jesuit Fuligatti (Rome, 1624); a Latin autobiography, hitherto withheld by the Jesuits, was edited in 1887, with a German translation, by Doliinger and Reusch.
1. Chamber's Biographical Dictionary, Philadelphia, 1926, page 86.

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