September 17, 2000
volume 11, no. 173

LITURGY for Sunday and Monday, September 17-18, 2000

SUNDAY, September 17, 2000

      First Reading: Isaiah 50: 4-9
      Psalms: Psalm 116: 1-9
      Second Reading: James 2: 14-18
      Gospel Reading: Mark 8: 27-35
Though superseded by the 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, September 17th is the traditional Feast of Saint Robert Bellarmine, Bishop, Religious and Doctor of the Church:

Feast of Saint Robert Bellarmine, Bishop, Religious and Doctor of the Church
        Born into a noble family in 1542 in the village of Montepulciano, Italy shortly after the Protestant Revolt through Europe, Saint Robert Bellarmine joined the Jesuit seminary at the age of 18, studing at the Roman College in Padua and at Louvain until being ordained in 1570 with his first assignment being professor at Louvain until 1577. Because of poor health, which became his cross througout his life, he transfered to the Pontifical Gregorian University where he taught theology for another eleven years. During this time he not only wrote four volumes of his work Controversies which came under heavy attack from Protestant sympathizers who had infiltrated the Vatican. Because of this assault on his writings they were almost placed on the Index of Forbidden Books but Pope Sixtus V intervened because of his loyalty to Robert and Robert's close association and invaluable assistance to the Vatican. In 1588 Robert was chosen spiritual director for the University which was then called the Roman College. One of his charges who he guided was a young seminarian named Saint Aloysius Gonzaga who died during his deaconate in 1591 shortly before being ordained. Three years later Robert became head of the University and subsequently provincial for the Jesuits' in Naples. In 1599 Pope Clement VIII elevated him to Cardinal, much to his objections for Robert did not feel worthy, but Clement knew he would make a great cardinal and enlisted him to help solve the dispute between the Jesuits and Dominicans regarding predestination. Three years later Clement appointed Cardinal Bellarmine Archbishop of Capua. Three years later Pope Paul V recalled him to Rome where was appointed the official theologian for the Holy See and became a constant companion to the pontiff, being positioned as a member of almost every Congregation of the Holy Office. Ironically it was Robert who called on to silence Galileo in 1616. In 1621 at age 79 Robert retired to St. Andrew's Novitiate, the Jesuit house near the Quirinale where he was visited and blessed by Pope Gregory XV just before Robert breathed his last breath reciting the Creed on September 17, 1621. In 1930 he was canonized by Pope Pius XI and declared a Doctor of the Church a year later. Throughout his life he was a staunch defender of the truths in refuting Protestant heresy and reconverting thousands who had fallen prey to the Protestant Reformation.

Monday, September 18, 2000

      First Reading: 1 Corinthians 11: 17-26, 33
      Psalms: Psalm 40: 7-10, 17
      Gospel Reading: Luke 7: 1-10

September 17, 2000
volume 11, no. 173

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