In the Chapel of St. Gregory the Great at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West in Cincinnati, there is a mysterious figure clad in red among the windows. Conventional wisdom holds that the depiction is of today’s most curious saint: Robert Bellarmine; Jesuit, Bishop, Reformer, Theologian, Cardinal, writer; and Secondary Patron of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, hence his inclusion at Mount St. Mary’s. (He is also a central figure in the raredos above the High Altar in the Chapel.)
An Italian by birth, he was in the early waves of members of the newly formed Jesuits. His academic prowress showed itself very early on, as he was able to teach Greek as soon as he learned it. He became well versed in the controversies of his day, mainly centering around the Protestant Reformation, and his magnum opus: “Disputationes de controversiis christianae fidei” remains the primary work in the field to this day.
Canonized in 1930 by Pius XI, he was declared a Doctor of the Church the following year. His body rests in the Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola in Rome, next to his famed student, St. Aloysius Gonzaga.
St. Robert Bellarmine, PRAY FOR US!
– Fr. Schnippel