Second Thought for the Day – 13 May – St Robert Bellarmine’s Personal Devotion to the Mother of God

Second Thought for the Day – 13 May – The Memorial of St Robert Bellarmine SJ (1542-1621) Bishop, Confessor, Doctor of the Church

“The Month of the Blessed Virgin Mary”
St Robert’s Personal Devotion
to the Mother of God

“St Robert was devoted to the Blessed Virgin from his earliest years. According to his schoolmate, later Canon Vincent Patiuchelli, as a young boy Bellarmine used to recite daily the Office of the Blessed Virgin, often in company with Vincent as the two of them walked slowly along the road. Bellarmine retained this custom of reciting the Office of Our Lady throughout life. In the same way. he kept the custom into his old age. of daily saying the Rosary. Alexander Jacobelli, who was the Cardinal’s Almoner for twenty years, testified at the Beatification process that, “He never omitted saying the Office and the Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, during which he was often found melted in tears.

However, Robert was not satisfied with only a single recitation of the Rosary. The beads were literally his constant companion. In the words of his chaplain, “when fatigued with study, Bellarmine would find recreation in reciting the beads with uncovered head.” And again, “his relaxation was to say the Rosary of Our Lady.” On his frequent journeys as Archbishop of Capua, attendants noticed that he always followed the same ritual – celebrate Mass, say the Itinerarium and, Rosary in hand, enter the carriage for the journey.

Juan de Serayz, a close friend of Robert, left some interesting details on how Bellarmine would say the Rosary. It was 14 June 1618, the Feast of Corpus Christi, when Robert and Juan were returning from a procession at St Peter’s Basilica. “As we got into the carriage,” relates Juan, “he told me that he was able to say the third part of the Rosary exactly three times, from the time the procession left the Sistine Chapel to where it finally ended at the Altar of Exposition in St Peter’s. Which I asked him, out of curiosity, how he said the Rosary, he told me that he separated the decades of the Angelic Salutation with an Our Father, adding to each decade a short prayer corresponding to the different mysteries and preceding with emphasis, he said that he recited the Hail Mary’s slowly, slowly. When I observed that this did not leave much time for keeping his partner company, he answered that during the whole procession, he did not say a single word to his Cardinal companion.

We understand, therefore, how painful were the doctor’s orders during Robert’s last illness, when he was forbidden, not only to say the Breviary but also, the Rosary. For, as his brother explained, the doctor knew with what ardour and devotion he applied himself to these prayers. Finally, the doctor was moved by the dying man’s pleas and mitigated the orders first given to the servant, allowing the sick man “a moderate use of the Rosary,” although everyone knew that, “his intense application to this prayer would be a great strain upon him.”

To the Office and the Rosary, Bellarmine added the Saturday fast in Mary’s honour. He fasted three days a week with the same rigour that he kept the Lenten fast, that is, most strictly. According to a syllogism which he wrote on the subject, he argued in this way:

Our justice should be greater than that of the Pharisees. Matt. 5/20
But the Pharisees fasted two days a week. Luke 18/12
Therefore, I should fast at least three days a week!

So, besides the fasts for the vigils and the Lenten fast and besides the whole of Advent, he kept a sacred fast on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday of each week. That he kept the Saturday fast in honour of Our Lady is clear from the sermon which he gave on one occasion for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, when he said that among the practices most pleasing to the Blessed Virgin and her Divine Son and most useful to growing in their love and friendship, is the daily recitation of the Rosary and the Saturday fast in Mary’s honour. It was only under express orders from his Confessor to fast only twice a week, that in his old age Bellarmine relinquished the Saturday fast.” [Excerpt by Servant of God Fr John A Hardon SJ (1914-2000)]


Thought for the Day – 13 May – Mary, Our Hope

Thought for the Day – 13 May – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Mary, Our Hope

“O Mary, my Mother, I place my trust in you because I know, that your intercession, is all-powerful with your Divine Son, Jesus.
Help me to detach myself completely from sin and, to conquer my rebellious inclinations.
Grant that I may imitate the shining example of your sanctity in such a way, that you may be truly my hope and my sure refuge, now and at the hour of my death.



Quote/s of the Day – 13 May – St Robert Bellarmine

Quote/s of the Day – 13 May – The Memorial of St Robert Bellarmine SJ (1542-1621) Bishop, Confessor, Doctor of the Church

“If you are wise,
then know, that you have been created
for the glory of God
and your own eternal salvation.
This is your goal;
this is the centre of your life;
this is the treasure of your heart.
May you consider truly good,
whatever leads you to your goal
and truly evil,
whatever makes you fall away from it.”

A Pope who is a manifest heretic
automatically (per se),
ceases to be Pope and Head,
just as he ceases, automatically,
to be a Catholic and a Member of the Church.
Wherefore, he can be judged
and punished by the Church.
This is too, the teaching of all the ancient Fathers.


St Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621)
Doctor of the Church


One Minute Reflection – 13 May – The least in the Kingdom of Heaven.

One Minute Reflection – 13 May – The Memorial of St Robert Bellarmine SJ (1542-1621) Bishop, Confessor, Doctor of the Church – Wisdom 7:7-14, Matthew 5:13-19

“Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so, will be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments, will be called greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.” – Matthew 5:19

REFLECTION – “For what reason then does He call some of these commandments “least,” although they are so magnificent and lofty? Jesus spoke this way because He was about to introduce His own teaching, as a new law . As He humbles Himself and speaks of Himself with great modesty, so He refers to His own teaching in the same manner. In this way, Jesus teaches us to practice humility in everything. And besides, since some suspected His teaching to be a new departure, He temporarily taught it in a more reserved way.

But when you hear “least in the Kingdom of Heaven,” you are to think of nothing but hell and punishment. For it was His practice to speak, not only of the joy the Kingdom brings but also, of the time of the resurrection and the fearful event of the Second Coming.

Think of one who calls a brother a fool. That one, transgresses only one commandment, maybe even the slightest one and falls into hell. Compare that one with another, who breaks all the commandments and instigates others to break them too. Do both have the same relationship to the Kingdom? This is not the argument Jesus is making. Rather, He means, that one who transgresses only one of the commands will, on the final day, be the least—that is, cast out—and last and will fall into hell!” – St John Chrysostom (347-407) Archbishop of Constantinople, Father and Doctor of the Church (The Gospel of Saint Matthew, Homily 16).

PRAYER – O God, Who endowed blessed Robert, Your Bishop and Doctor, with wondrous learning and virtue to repel the deceits of error and to defend the rights of the Apostolic See, grant, by his merits and intercession, that we may ever grow in love of truth and that the hearts of the erring may return to the unity of Your Church. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, Hail MARY!, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MARIAN POETRY, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN TITLES, MARY'S MONTH, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, Ven Servant of God John A Hardon

Our Morning Offering – 13 May – Hymn to Mary the Virgin

Our Morning Offering – 13 May – “The Month of the Blessed Virgin Mary” and the Memorial of St Robert Bellarmine SJ (1542-1621) Bishop, Confessor, Doctor of the Church.

St Robert Bellarmine’s Hymn to Mary the Virgin:
Among St Robert’s extant writing, there is a short poem of twenty stanzas which he composed in the nature of a Litany to the Blessed Virgin. The text was first published in Italian some fifty years ago and to the best of the writer’s knowledge, has never been translated into English. Each verse-line begins with the name “Virgin,” joined to a title and petition to Our Lady, starting with the letter “A” and going down the Italian alphabet to “V.” Thus the first seven verses begin with the invocation: “Vergine adorna … Vergine Bella …Vergine casta … Vergine degna … Vergine eletta … Vergine felice … Vergine gradita …

A translation to this tribute to the Virgin Mother reads as follows: – Servant of God Fr John A Hardon SJ (1914-2000).

Hymn to Mary the Virgin
By St Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621)
Doctor of the Church.

Virgin adored and clothed with the sun,
grant me thine aid.
Virgin most beautiful, mystical rose,
take abode in my heart.
Virgin most chaste, all undefiled,
grant me true peace.
Virgin deserving of all honour and praise,
give me thy love.
Virgin elect and full of all grace,
lead me to God.
Virgin most blessed, star of the sea,
dispel the storms besetting me.
Virgin most virtuous, holy and sweet,
show me the way.
Virgin illustrious, with thy burning light,
enlighten thou my mind.
Virgin more precious than jewels or gold,
make reparation for me.
Virgin most worthy of all praise,
mother, daughter and immaculate spouse.
Virgin and Mother,
make me more pleasing to Jesus thy Son.
Virgin most innocent of any stain or fault,
make me more worthy of God.
Virgin enriched with every gift and grace,
obtain the remission of my sins.
Virgin most pure, grant me to enjoy
the bliss of heavenly love.
Virgin, thou lily among thorns,
I pray thee for the grace of a happy death.
Virgin more rare than the rarest dream,
bring joy to my heart.
Virgin so great, there is none like thee on earth,
bring peace to my soul.
Virgin most true, loving Mother too, Virgin Mary.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 13 May – St Robert Bellarmine SJ (1542-1621) Defender of the Church

Saint of the Day – 13 May – St Robert Bellarmine SJ (1542-1621) Archbishop of Capua, Italy, Rector of the Roman College, Confessor, Cardinal, Doctor of the Church, Theologian, Professor, Writer, Preacher, Mediator. Known as – “The Father of the Poor,” “The Hammer of Heretics,” “The Model of Promoters and Defenders of the Catholic religion.”

St Robert Bellarmine
From the Roman Breviary

Robert, a native of Montepulciano, Italy and of the noble family of Bellarmine, had for his mother, the most pious Cynthia Cervini, sister of Pope Marcellus II. From the first, he was conspicuous for exemplary piety and most chaste manners, earnestly desiring this one thing, to please God alone and to win souls to Christ.

He attended the college of the Society of Jesus in his native town where he was highly commended for his intelligence and modesty. At the age of eighteen, he entered the same Society at Rome and was a model of all religious virtues. Having passed through the course of philosophy at the Roman College, he was sent firstly to Florence, then to Monreale, later to Padua to teach Sacred Theology and afterwards, to Louvain where, not yet a Priest, he ably discharged the office of preacher. After Ordination at Louvain, he taught Theology with such success, that he brought back many heretics to the unity of the Church and was regarded throughout Europe, as a most brilliant Theologian, so much so, that St Charles, Bishop of Milan and others, keenly sought after him.

Recalled to Rome at the wish of Pope Gregory XIII, he taught the science of controversial Theology at the Roman College and there, as Spiritual Director, he guided the angelic youth St Aloysius in the paths of holiness. He governed the Roman College and then the Neapolitan Province of the Society of Jesus, in accordance with the spirit of St Ignatius.

Again summoned to Rome, he was employed by Clement VIII in the most important affairs of the Church, with the greatest advantage to the Christian state. Then, against his will and in spite of opposition, he was admitted among the number of the Cardinals because, as the Pontiff publicly declared, he did not have his equal among Theologians in the Church of God, at the time. He was Consecrated Bishop by the same Pope and administered the Archdiocese of Capua in a most saintly manner for three years. Having resigned this office, he lived in Rome until his death, as a most impartial and trusty Counsellor to the Supreme Pontiff. He wrote much and in an admirable manner.

His principal merit lies in his complete victory in the struggle against the new errors, during which he distinguished himself as a strenuous and outstanding vindicator of Catholic tradition and the rights of the Roman See. He gained this victory by following St Thomas as his guide and teacher, by a prudent consideration of the needs of his times, by his irrefragable teaching and by a most abundant wealth of testimony, well-chosen from the Sacred Writings and from the very rich fountain of the Fathers of the Church. He is eminently noted for very numerous short works, for fostering piety and especially for that golden Catechism, winch he never failed to explain to the young and ignorant, both at Capua and at Rome, although preoccupied with other very important affairs.

A contemporary Cardinal declared, that Robert was sent by God for the instruction of Catholics, for the guidance of the good and for the confusion of heretics. St Francis de Sales regarded him as a fountain of learning; the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XIV called him the Hammer of Heretics and Benedict XV proclaimed him the Model of Promoters and Defenders of the Catholic religion.

He was most zealous in the religious life and he maintained that manner of life after having been chosen as one of the empurpled Cardinals. He did not want any wealth beyond what was necessary; he was satisfied with a moderate household and scanty fare and clothing. He did not strive to enrich his relatives and he could scarcely be induced to relieve their poverty, even occasionally. He had the lowest opinion of himself and was of wonderful simplicity of soul. He had an extraordinary love for the Mother of God; he spent many hours daily in prayer. He ate very sparingly and fasted three times a week. Uniformly austere with himself, he burned with charity towards his neighbour and was often called the Father of the poor. He earnestly strove that he might not stain his baptismal innocence by even the slightest fault.

Almost eighty years old, he fell into his last illness at St Andrew’s on the Quirinal hill and in it, he showed his usual radiant virtue. Pope Gregory XV and many Cardinals visited him on his deathbed, lamenting the loss of such a great pillar of the Church. He fell asleep in the Lord in the year 1621, on the day of the Sacred Stigmata of St Francis, the memory of which, he had been instrumental in having celebrated everywhere. The whole City mourned his death, unanimously proclaiming him a Saint. The Supreme Pontiff Pius XI inscribed his name, firstly, in the number of the Blessed, and then in that of the Saints and shortly afterwards, by a Decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites, he declared him a Doctor of the Universal Church.

His body is honoured with pious veneration at Rome in the Church of St Ignatius, near the tomb of St Aloysius, as he himself had desired. Blessed be God in His Holy Saints! Amen.

More of St Robert’s Life here:
AND a Podcast here:
St Robert Bellarmine and Galileo

Statue at the Gesu Church in Rome
Posted in IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MARIAN TITLES, SAINT of the DAY, YouTube VIDEOS

Our Lady of Fatima 105th Anniversary of the First Apparition, Madonna del Soccorso / Our Lady of Succour of Sicily (14th Century), Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament and Memorials of the Saints – 13 May

St Robert Bellarmine SJ (1542-1621) Doctor of the Church, Confessor.
Feast Day today. changed in 1969.

13 May 2022 +++ Our Lady of Fatima 105th Anniversary of the First Apparition

Our Lady of the Holy Rosary (the name she gave herself when Lucia asked her name).
All about Our Lady of Fatima:

Madonna del Soccorso / Our Lady of Succour of Sicily (14th Century):

Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament: St Peter Julian Eymard (1811-1868) and Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament:
The Background:

St Abban of Abingdon
St Agnes of Poitiers

St André-Hubert Fournet (1752-1834) “The Good Father” – Priest and Co-Founder with St Jeanne-Élisabeth Bichier des Ages of the Congregation of the Daughters of the Cross, Apostle of the poor, needy, children and the aged.
About St André-Hubert :

St Anno of Verona
St Argentea of Cordoba
St Euthymius the Illuminator
Bl Fortis Gabrielli
Bl Gerard of Villamagna
Bl Gemma of Goriano
St Glyceria of Trajanopolis

Blessed Imelda Lambertini (1322-1333) Child Mystic, Virgin. Patronage – First Communicants (named by Pope Saint Pius X).
Dear Little Imelda:

St John the Silent

Blessed Julian of Norwich (c 1342-c 1416) (aged 73–74) Anchorite, Mystic, Writer, Ascetic, Spiritual director

St Lucius of Constantinople
St Mael of Bardsey
Bl Magdalen Albrizzi
St Merewenna of Rumsey
St Mucius of Byzantium
St Natalis of Milan
St Onesimus of Soissons
St Servatus of Tongres
St Valerian of Auxerre

Martyrs of Alexandria: A group of Christians Martyred in the Church of Theonas, Alexandria, Egypt by order of the Arian Emperor Valens. Their names have not come down to us. 372 in Alexandria, Egypt.