The Art Of Dying Well And On Piety (Two Edifying & Educational Books)
Robert Bellarmine (Italian: Roberto Francesco Romolo Bellarmino; 4 October 1542 – 17 September 1621) was an Italian Jesuit and a cardinal of the Catholic Church. He was canonized a saint in 1930 and named Doctor of the Church, one of only 37. He was one of the most important figures in the Counter-Reformation.
Bellarmine was a professor of theology and later rector of the Roman College, and in 1602 became Archbishop of Capua. He supported the reform decrees of the Council of Trent. He is also widely remembered for his role in the Giordano Bruno affair, the Galileo affair, and the trial of Friar Fulgenzio Manfredi.
During his retirement, he wrote several short books intended to help ordinary people in their spiritual life: De ascensione mentis in Deum per scalas rerum creatorum opusculum (The Mind’s Ascent to God by the Ladder of Created Things 1614) which was translated into English as Jacob’s Ladder (1638) without acknowledgement by Henry Isaacson, The Art of Dying Well (1619) (in Latin, English translation under this title by Edward Coffin), and The Seven Words on the Cross.
Bellarmine retired to Sant’Andrea degli Scozzesi, the Jesuit college of Saint Andrew in Rome. He died on 17 September 1621, aged 78.
Bellarmine was canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1930; the following year he was declared a Doctor of the Church. His remains, in a cardinal’s red robes, are displayed behind glass under a side altar in the Church of Saint Ignatius, the chapel of the Roman College, next to the body of his student, Aloysius Gonzaga, as he himself had wished. In the General Roman Calendar Saint Robert Bellarmine’s feast day is on 17 September, the day of his death; but some continue to use pre-1969 calendars, in which for 37 years his feast day was on 13 May. The rank assigned to his feast has been “double” (1932–1959), “third-class feast” (1960–1968), and since the 1969 revision “memorial”.
On Piety by Jean Guibert (1857 – 1914).
Father Jean Guibert of the Society of St. Sulpice served as superior of the Catholic Institute of Paris. He wrote this short book, which bears an imprimatur, for both those who practice piety and those who disdain it. As noted in the preface to this book, the practice of piety has many advantages. The pious person is drawn into closer contact with God, his heart is purified and made glad, his mind is enlightened, his will is strengthened, and his zeal to love God and neighbor is enkindled. In Part I (Chapters 1-11), Father Guibert discusses the nature of piety, and in Part II (Chapters 12-18), he enumerates its fruits. The sequel to On Piety is Guibert’s On the Exercises of Piety, which illustrates how piety is practiced in various ways.