Saint Robert Bellarmine


Saint Robert Bellarmine, 1542–1621
September 17

Saint Robert Bellarmine, an Italian priest, lived at a time when Catholics and Protestants were fighting each other. He spent his life explaining and defending Catholic teaching. He wrote a catechism explaining what Catholics believe. But he also knew that God loves all people. He prayed daily for unity in the People of God. Saint Robert understood that even when we disagree with someone, we must still remember them in prayer. He knew that God wants all people to be happy with him in Heaven.

Discuss: In what ways can you respectfully help people understand the Church and her teachings?

Saint Robert is a patron of catechumens, several schools, canonists and canon lawyers, and catechists. As a child, he composed poems and hymns in Italian and Latin. Later in life he learned Greek as well. As well as being a cardinal and archbishop, Saint Robert was a professor of theology and the head of the Vatican Library. As one of the Catholic Church’s most passionate defenders, he is known as a Doctor of the Church.


Explain that Robert Bellarmine prayed for unity among the People of God. We should do the same.

  • Say: Just as many materials are needed to construct a single building, so are many people brought together to become one in faith.
  • Invite your child to write a prayer for peace and unity among the People of God.
  • Remind him/her that we are working to help build the Kingdom of God on Earth as it is Heaven. Encourage him/her to put into words what this means, including how people of many different beliefs can work together to reach peace and strengthen God’s Kingdom.
  • Ask your child to share her/his prayer with you.
  • Encourage her/him to pray this prayer ever night for the next week.