Robert Roberto Bellarmino (Bellarmin), an Italian theologian and cardinal, born of a, noble family at Monte Pulciano, near Florence, Oct. 4, 1542, died in Rome, Sept. 17, 162l
He was the nephew of Pope Marcellus II., and at the age of 18 entered the society of the Jesuits. St. Francis Borgia, who succeeded Laynez as general, sent him to Louvain, where he became a powerful controversial writer. Sixtus V. sent him with his legate to France during the wars of the league, and after his recall he was employed in different offices at Rome. Clement VIII. decorated him with the Roman purple in 1598. During his whole career Bellarmin lived a simple ascetic life. In 1001 he was made archbishop of Capua, where he resided and administered that see till 1605, when Paul V. made him librarian of the Vatican. He spent the last 15 years of his life at Rome, wholly devoted to his duties there, and to the study of theology. At the conclave which followed the death of Clement VIII., he was against his own will made a candidate for the tiara; and at the subsequent conclave after the short reign of Leo XI. came within a few votes of the number requisite for an election. He left many theological works, principally of a controversial character.