Celebrating Saint Robert Bellarmine, Patron Saint of Catechists

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by Patricia Mathson

Feast Day: September 17 


[CLICK HERE] for a Saint Page about St. Robert Bellarmine that your learners can take home to share with their families.

Robert Bellarmine was born in 1542. He lived in Italy and was one of 10 children in his family. His mother was a person of prayer and taught her children to pray each day. As a child, Robert liked to teach the younger children in his family about Jesus.

Knew God Is Good

When he was 18, Robert entered the order of Jesuits, a new order of priests. He studied hard and became a priest. At first, his father had been against the idea, but he gave his approval. Robert loved God with all his heart. He knew that God is good and loves each of us.

Shared His Faith in God

Father Robert Bellarmine studied Scripture and Church teachings. Many people came to listen to him talk about following Jesus. He told people, “You have been created for the glory of God. This is your goal; this is the center of your life; this is the treasure of your heart.”

Prayed Each Day

Father Robert Bellarmine spent time in prayer each day—as his mother had taught him. He prayed to God to help him speak to the people, and he prayed for the needs of others. He is known as one of the patron saints of catechists because he taught others about Jesus Christ.

What Can We Do?

P We can talk about the life of St. Robert Bellarmine. Who taught him to pray? Who teaches us to pray? Why is prayer important? What did Robert teach the people about God’s love? What are ways we can follow Jesus? How can we make God a priority in our lives?

P We can make crosses to help us remember to have faith in Jesus Christ always. We can cut out crosses from colorful card stock and decorate them with foam stickers. Then we can put the crosses in places in our homes where we will see them and be reminded to follow Jesus.

P We can be people of prayer like St. Robert Bellarmine was. Let’s name times when we can pray. We can pray in the morning. We can pray at lunchtime. We can pray before meals and at bedtime. We can pray anytime.


Lord God, thank you for the example of faith of St. Robert Bellarmine. May we know your love for us and share that love with others. Give us the courage to speak your truth to others, like St. Robert Bellarmine did. Amen.

Patricia Mathson has many years of experience in faith formation as a DRE. She holds a Master of Religious Education degree from the University of Dallas and currently is the children’s ministry coordinator at a family shelter in Des Moines, IA. Patricia is the author of many books including Prayers and Activities on Service (Twenty-Third Publications).


This Liturgical Year

3  Gregory the Great

8  Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

9  Peter Claver

13  John Chrysostom

14  Exaltation of the Holy Cross

15  Our Lady of Sorrows

16  Cornelius and Cyprian

20  Andrew Kim Tae-gŏn and Paul Chŏng Ha-sang and Companions

23  Pius of Pietrelcina

27  Vincent de Paul

29  Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael

30  Jerome


Copyright 2014, Bayard, Inc. All rights reserved. This article is protected by United States copyright and other intellectual property laws and may not be reproduced, rewritten, distributed, redisseminated, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast, directly or indirectly, in any medium without the prior written permission of Bayard, Inc.

This article was written by the Catechist Staff and appeared in Catechist magazine, January 2014.

Image Credit: Shutter Stock 544541167

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