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S A I N T S &
B I R T H D A Y P A G E
St. Robert Bellarmine,
who was born in 1542 and died in 1621, was a Jesuit, a cardinal and a theologian.
He was one of the leaders of the Counter Reformation, and his writings
on human rights and constitutional law served as a model for the American
Founding Father, Thomas Jefferson.. Roberto Francesco Romolo Bellarmino
was born in Montepulciano, Tuscany, the son of a local magistrate and a
nephew of Pope Marcellus II. He entered the Society of Jesus and was ordained
a priest in 1570. Appointed professor of theology at the University of
Louvain (now in Belgium), Bellarmine gained a reputation as a brilliant
controversialist. After 1576 he lectured in Rome on the conflicts arising
from the Reformation. His chief work was the multivolume Disputations on
the Controversies of the Christian Faith (1568-93). His exposition of the
Roman Catholic position was so clear and logical that his approach became
the standard in textbooks for several centuries. He also took a prominent
part in the revision of the Vulgate published in 1592. Appointed a cardinal
in 1599, Bellarmine served as archbishop of Capua from 1602 to 1605. He
then returned to Rome, where he continued his scholarly work. Bellarmine
was a member of the Jesuits, the Church's intellectual arm; he had to be
an admirer of Galileo, and, in fact, defended Galileo's right to publish
his writings on the solar system. Since he was a cardinal, Bellarmine had
a certain income. But he was a Jesuit, too, with a vow of poverty. So he
gave all his money for the relief of the poor, and died a pauper in 1621.
Someone once found Bellarmine in the Father's rec room, playing chess.
"What if you knew this was your last day on earth?" he asked.
Bellarmine said, "I'd go right on playing chess." The lesson
was clear: if you live an exemplary life, you do what you do, even play,
with a clear conscience. You need no special preparation for death. All
of Bellarmine's works, written in Latin, were compiled between 1870 and
1874 and were printed in 12 volumes. Many of them, especially his devotional
and catechetical works, had been translated into English as early as 1602.
He was canonized in 1930 and declared a Doctor of the Church the following
Your Birthday Today:
Voted most popular. If you were born on May 13, you are a very popular person, and you didn't have you fight to get this recognition. Some may think you shallow, and it may be true. Ruled by the number 4 and the planet Uranus, you must learn to control your explosive impulses.
A mover and a shrugger. You often feel stuck if you stay in one place or job too long. Movement and travel are very important to you. And since you tend to be preoccupied with your popularity, you shrug off practical concerns such as financial matters. It may behoove you to get some help in this area.
A big influence. You have a great influence on others and therefore must watch what you say, how you act, even how you move. (You are a very physical person.) If you only wish to amuse, you should attach no heavy message to your performance. If you do want to make a statement, you should beware of corrupting forces.
Could you become deep? A big challenge for you is deciding whether you want to remain a natural, self-taught and easy-going person or to deepen your knowledge and skills with intensive, determined study. May 13 people can live perfectly happy lives remaining light-hearted and popular, but may be frustrated when others don't take them seriously. Often a setback or tragedy of some sort shakes them up and causes them to dig deeper.
Some advice: Shallow and easy-going, or intense and deeply-talented? That is the question you face. And it's never too late to change. Do not worry so much what others think.
Also born on this day: Josephine Butler (19th c. social reformer) Jane Glover (British conductor) Ravi Shankar (spiritual leader of Vendanta) Adolph Hozel (German painter) Joe Louis (longest reigning heavyweight champ) Stevie Wonder (singer, songwriter, musician) Gil Evans (jazz composer, pianist) Georges Braque (French cubist painter) Arthur Sullivan (British composer, musicals) Harvey Keitel (actor) Jim Jones (cult leader).