Today, 17 September, is the anniversary of the death of St. Robert Bellarmine, “hammer of heretics”. In the traditional calendar he is celebrated on 13 May.
This mighty Doctor was a true Jesuit. He was a scholar, a good teacher, and a humble servant. As Cardinal and head of the Roman Inquisition he would wash pots with the novices in the kitchen. He was deeply involved in the Galileo Affair. He wrote a Catechism worthy of use even today. He had a catechesis for children that would make our modern suburban RCIA instructors screw up their faces, curl and suck their thumbs. He was a mentor and then devotee of St. Aloysius Gonzaga. His hymn for St. Mary Magdalene is in the Roman Breviary.
I honor this great Robert today, in honor especially of his namesake, quondam Jesuit, the late Extraordinary Ordinary, Robert C. Morlino, Bishop of Madison who was.