Welcome to the St. Robert Bellarmine Apostolate!

The mission of the St. Robert Bellarmine Apostolate is to support and strengthen individuals with Down syndrome, their families and friends through prayer.

The members of the Apostolate live out this mission by:

1.)  Praying the intercessory prayers to St. Robert Bellarmine to increase devotion to this saint as a patron for individuals with Down syndrome

2.) Celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on the feast day of St. Robert (September 17, or the Sunday before or after his feast day) for individuals with Down syndrome, their families and friends

3.) Encouraging Catholic parents to join or to form a MOMs+DADs (Mother of Mercy spiritual Divine Advocate for Down syndrome) prayer/support group at their local parish

We invite you to explore the website and go to the 'About Us' page to learn the story of the Apostolate, letters of support and a testimonial. By signing our guestbook you'll be helping the cause of his patronage. If you believe you have received any graces, blessings or miracles through the intercession of St. Robert Bellarmine, please write to us through our contact page. This website also includes the prayer for the intercession of the Servant of God, Dr. Jerome Lejeune. How wonderful it would be to have two Patron Saints! St. Robert Bellarmine pray for us!

St. Robert Bellarmine:

A Patron Saint for Individuals with Down Syndrome *About the picture: Alexander Kostner, Italian artist and sculptor, was commissioned in 2016 to paint the image of St. Robert Bellarmine embracing children with Down syndrome for the St. Robert Bellarmine Apostolate. His studio is in Ortisei, Italy. www.ako.it. Copyright








Quote of the week from St. Robert:

"Just as we recognize the power of the maker in the creation of all things from nothing, so from the marvelous craftsmanship which we notice in individual things we admire the wisdom of the Creator, for he has ordered each and every thing by measure and number and weight, as the Wise Man says (Wis 11:2). This is the seasoning with which God has seasoned all things so that by that seasoning we may recognize how savory is the wisdom itself and how lovable and desirable."

 

St. Robert's words of wisdom: 

 

  • Who is my maker?
  • From what material did he make me?
  • What nature did he give me ?
  • For what end did he create me?


For if I seek my maker, I find God alone. If I seek the material from which He made me, I find absolutely nothing. From this you can conclude that whatever is in me was made by God and wholly belongs to God. If I ask about my nature, I find that I am the image of God. If I ask about my end, I find God himself, who is my supreme and total good. Therefore, I will recognize that I have a great bond with and need for God, as He alone is my creator, my maker, my Father, my exemplar, my happiness, my all. And If I understand this, what can happen except that I seek Him ardently, that I think of Him, that I yearn for Him, desire to see and embrace Him? Should I not be horrified at the dense darkness of my heart which for so long has considered, desired, and sought anything other than God, who alone is my all? 

 

October is Down syndrome awareness month and the month of the Most Holy Rosary. One of the ways we can participate is by praying the Rosary Meditations for Down syndrome. Please see below for these Rosary Meditations.

 

World Down syndrome Day (WDSD) ~ March 21

 

Please watch these beautiful videos!
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please visit; www.educatingfelicity.com, a superb website for educating children with special needs.

 

 

Intercessory Prayers to St. Robert Bellarmine

 

 

​PRAYER FOR DOWN SYNDROME

O Holy St. Robert Bellarmine, I pray for your loving intercession for the needs of those with Down syndrome.
May you be at the side of every mother with child, that she will have the faith to overcome worldly thoughts and fears that could distract her from recognizing the precious gift of life growing within her.
May you be at the side of the parents, families, friends, teachers, and caregivers that they will have the grace to know the Lord's merciful hand is guiding them through life's joys and struggles. May they place their hope and complete trust in Jesus.
St. Robert Bellarmine, help me to keep my eyes open for the opportunity to show my love like Jesus and not to let fear of the unknown prevent me from doing the Divine Will. I ask you to entrust these intentions to the Most Blessed Virgin Mary that she may place them before the altar of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus. Amen

PRAYER FOR AN EXPECTANT MOTHER OF A BABY WITH DOWN SYNDROME

O Holy and merciful Lord who made my soul and the soul of my baby in Your image, I beg You, increase my wisdom to understand, my justice to love and my courage and strength to overcome my fears. Hide my soul within You Lord that worldly thoughts shall not consume me nor distract me from the precious gift of life growing within my womb. O sweet Lord who so loves, so protects, and so nurtures, help me to place my trust in You. Give me the humility and grace to carry my beautiful baby until birth, so I may raise my baby to know and love you.  O Most Holy St. Robert Bellarmine who was inspired by the Holy Spirit, I implore your miraculous intercession before the Lord to answer my prayer and to be with me while I am pregnant with my baby. Amen. 

PRAYER FOR RAISING A CHILD WITH DOWN SYNDROME 

O Sweet Lord through the intercession of St. Robert Bellarmine, I ask for your merciful hand to guide me with sacrificial love to raise my beautiful child of light, your perfect creation. Lord, help me to know that Your burden is light and Your yoke is easy as I care for my precious child whose humble soul shines with purity, beauty and the Love of God.
O Lord, what is easier, gentler and sweeter than to know the goodness, beauty and love which is my child and You O Lord. Amen.

 

MY PRAYER

O St. Robert Bellarmine, help me to do the Divine Will in my life at every moment,
To share my smile, my joy, my love and my unique talents and abilities,
And to continue to be the light of Jesus. Amen.

 

PRAYER BEFORE SURGERY

O loving Father, I pour out my heart to you and ask for the intercession of St. Robert Bellarmine that (name of person) with Down syndrome will have a successful surgery. Take the worries and fears away and replace them with Your thoughts of love, mercy, and generosity. Help us to trust in divine providence that all will be according to Your plan.
Give the doctors, nurses, and medical staff, patience, gentleness, wisdom, and clarity so as to know exactly what is needed for surgery. Guide the surgeon's hands for accurate precision. May there be no complications and a speedy recovery so that (name of person) may continue to know, love and serve the Lord in this world and continue to fulfill his/her mission on this earth. Amen.

 

PRAYER TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY FOR HER CHILDREN WITH DOWN SYNDROME

Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Mercy, you were given to us as a mother and teacher. Come and teach us through the Lord's grace to be the best mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and friends that we can for your children with Down syndrome. Help us to accept these children as children so special to you, with gratitude as a beautiful gift from God. Make us faithful to God's will. Guide us with your motherly wisdom, fortitude, gentleness, and most of all, love, so as to help nurture your beautiful children. Place your mantle around them as a protection from all harm and evil. We ask this through Jesus Christ, Your Son, Our Lord, in whom we place all our trust.  Amen.

 

 

NOVENA FOR AN EXPECTANT MOTHER OF A BABY WITH DOWN SYNDROME

 

DAY 1

My Lord and my God, I cry out to thee with all my heart. Give me the grace to see that this is Your will for me and my baby with Down syndrome. Even though I may not understand this today, I pray that with each passing day I will discover the abundant joy that You have in store for  me through the beautiful gift of my baby. Allow me to unite my love with Your perfect love, to cast away any fears that I  may encounter. I call upon my holy guardian angel to help me overcome my pride and to teach me docile obedience so that I may submit to Your will, O Lord, and take a leap of faith.

 

St. Robert Bellarmine, I ask your intercession with God, that He may impart wisdom to eradicate fear of the unknown and to increase my love, courage and strength to recognize God's will. May I firmly believe that every human life is blessed because God creates us out of love in His divine image and likeness.

 

Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be

 

 

DAY 2

Lord, with this new day, I know deep down within my soul that You hear my prayer. I know that You can calm any fear that I may have within me. Let me realize that having a baby with Down syndrome will take me on a different path than I had expected, but not necessarily a harder path. O Lord, with You I can do all things. Jesus, I lift up my soul to You and ask You to place it in Your Most Sacred Heart, safe from all worry. Only in You can I find truth and happiness.

 

St. Robert Bellarmine, I ask your intercession with God, that He may impart wisdom to eradicate fear of the unknown and to increase my love, courage and strength to recognize God's will. May I firmly believe that every human life is blessed because God creates us out of love in His divine image and likeness.

 

Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be

 

 

DAY 3

My Jesus, I ask You to give me the grace and strength to combat any feelings or thoughts of uncertainty. Help me to know that this is truly a great honor and gift from You. Enlighten my mind and my heart to see that You are always concerned about every detail of my life and to be aware that there is help and support for families who have children with Down syndrome. I thank You for entrusting me with this glorious responsibility of taking care of my baby with Down syndrome.

 

St. Robert Bellarmine, I ask your intercession with God, that He may impart wisdom to eradicate fear of the unknown and to increase my love, courage and strength to recognize God's will. May I firmly believe that every human life is blessed because God creates us out of love in His divine image and likeness.

 

Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be

 

 

DAY 4

Jesus, I ask You to increase my capacity to love beyond measure. Blessed Mother, by trusting in God, you overcame your fear and with humility you willingly said "yes". Place your sweet motherly touch upon me, for you are my mother, my hope and my anchor of faith. I know that you will help me conquer any doubts. Blessed Mother, assist me in the virtue of temperance so as to put aside wordly distractions and pleasures and to act according to faith and reason. Help me to set my thoughts and eyes on heavenly treasures.

 

St. Robert Bellarmine, I ask your intercession with God, that He may impart wisdom to eradicate fear of the unknown and to increase my love, courage and strength to recognize God's will. May I firmly believe that every human life is blessed because God creates us out of love in His divine image and likeness.

 

Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be

 

 

DAY 5

My Father in heaven, enter into the silence of my heart and place Your peace in my soul. Infuse me with tremendous humility and patience that I may willingly trust and cooperate in Your divine providence. As I embark on this new journey in my life along with You and my baby with Down syndrome, I know that I may never completely understand Your ways, but that in time I may learn to accept them and to see that Your plan will bring me far greater joy and wisdom.

 

St. Robert Bellarmine, I ask your intercession with God, that He may impart wisdom to eradicate fear of the unknown and to increase my love, courage and strength to recognize God's will. May I firmly believe that every human life is blessed because God creates us out of love in His divine image and likeness.

 

Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be

 

 

DAY 6

I ask the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Mother and advocate, to place your mantle around my baby and me. Blessed Mother, let me experience the heavenly peace that my baby with Down syndrome will bring to me and to others around us. Help me to learn how my baby will be able to teach others how to love, live and appreciate life and especially how to choose happiness.  Hold me with your gentle loving motherly embrace, so that with you I will always find tranquility and security. Guide me in my spiritual life, so that I will continue to strive to be like you, a good loving mother and a holy virtuous woman.

 

St. Robert Bellarmine, I ask your intercession with God, that He may impart wisdom to eradicate fear of the unknown and to increase my love, courage and strength to recognize God's will. May I firmly believe that every human life is blessed because God creates us out of love in His divine image and likeness.

 

Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be

 

 

DAY 7

Lord, give me clarity to know that You are the way, the truth and the life. Help me to focus on the needs of my growing baby. Send St. Raphael the Archangel, I beg You, to pierce my heart with the arrow of love, so that I can totally express to You my love and fidelity. Let there be an immense growth of love in my heart in thanksgiving for my baby with Down syndrome. Assist me to be aware of all the good works and the fruitful impact that my child with Down syndrome brings to others.

 

St. Robert Bellarmine, I ask your intercession with God, that He may impart wisdom to eradicate fear of the unknown and to increase my love, courage and strength to recognize God's will. May I firmly believe that every human life is blessed because God creates us out of love in His divine image and likeness.

 

​Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be

 

 

DAY 8

​Lord Jesus, I am mindful of the wonderful life of Your foster father, St. Joseph. I beg you to be with my husband/ the father of my baby. Entrust to him faith, hope and love, so that he will be able to fully appreciate that our baby with Down syndrome is Your heavenly perfection at hand. Our baby is and always will be a blessing to us, our family and to all people. As we learn to live in the present moment, I beg You to help us as parents to enlarge and purify our expectations.

 

St. Robert Bellarmine, I ask your intercession with God, that He may impart wisdom to eradicate fear of the unknown and to increase my love, courage and strength to recognize God's will. May I firmly believe that every human life is blessed because God creates us out of love in His divine image and likeness.

 

Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be

 

 

DAY 9

My Lord and my God, let me surrender my own will to You. In trust I accept to the best of my ability Your perfect plan for my life and my baby with Down syndrome. You are the one to whom I always need to turn. You are my light, my rock and my salvation. I am Yours. Kindly guide me each day and let me now that You are with me during my pregnancy. Direct my path as I raise my beautiful child to know, love and serve You in this world and for all eternity.

 

St. Robert Bellarmine, I ask your intercession with God, that He may impart wisdom to eradicate fear of the unknown and to increase my love, courage and strength to recognize God's will. May I firmly believe that every human life is blessed because God creates us out of love in His divine image and likeness.

 

Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be

 

 

Recite these two prayers on the last day of the novena:

 

Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary for Her children with Down syndrome

Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Mercy, you were given to us as a mother and teacher. Come and teach us through the Lord's grace to be the best mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and friends that we can for your children with Down syndrome. Help us to accept these children as children so special to you, with gratitude as a beautiful gift from God. Make us faithful to God's will. Guide us with your motherly wisdom, fortitude, gentleness, and most of all, love, so as to help nuture these beautiful children of yours. Place your mantle around them as a protection from all harm and evil. We ask this through Jesus Christ, Your Son, Our Lord, in whom we place all our trust. Amen.

 

Prayer for the intercession of St. Robert Bellarmine

St. Robert Bellarmine, teacher of the world, intercede for us with our heavenly Father, to guide us in all that we do for and with our children with Down syndrome. Enlighten us to recognize and follow God's will in caring and loving these special and heavenly people. Help us to see that these individuals with Down syndrome in our lives as the gift of God to us. They teach us how to live and love beyond measure. We need their simplicity, their laughter, their sweet nature, and most of all their capacity to love. We ask this through Jesus Christ, Your Son, Our Lord, in whom we place all our trust. Amen.

 

St. Robert Bellarmine, pray for us!

 

Biography of Saint Robert Bellarmine

 

  • 1542-1621
  • Feast Day: September 17
  • Beatified on May 13, 1923
  • Canonized on June 29, 1930 by Pope Pius XI and one year later declared Doctor of the Church.
  • Best known as Cardinal and Father of the Counter Reformation.


St. Robert Bellarmine was born October 4, 1542 (Feast day of St. Francis of Assisi) at Montepulciano, Italy. He had a great devotion to St. Francis and providentially he died on September 17, 1621 (Feast day of when St. Francis received the stigmata). St. Robert's parents, Vincenzo Bellarmino and Cynthia Cervini (half sister to Pope Marcellus II), were noble but poor. St. Robert was the third of ten children.  His health was very poor throughout his youth and even into adulthood. Many who loved Robert thought that his chance of surviving to manhood was slim.

At the age of 18, St. Robert joined the newly formed Society of Jesus, the Jesuits, and was ordained in 1570 on the Feast of the Annunciation. St. Robert was the spiritual Father and friend of St. Aloysius Gonzaga, and he helped St. Francis deSales obtain formal approval of the Visitation Order.

In 1576, the Pope asked St. Robert to teach seminarians and priests. He preached the truth using Holy Scripture, the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas and the Magisterium of the Church. St. Robert was a brilliant homilist, writer, and preacher. People would come from all over to hear him speak. He was nicknamed the "Little Cardinal" because he was only 5'3" and he would have to stand on a stool to preach his sermons.

In 1598, St. Robert published a Catechism, which was still being used well into the twentieth century. Hence, he is the Patron Saint of Catechists. In 1599, he was made a Cardinal and in 1602, he was consecrated Bishop of Capua, north of Naples. then in 1605, Pope Paul V called him back to Rome to serve as the defender of faith.

One of St. Robert's most important works was a book titled, Controversies, an apologetic on all the teachings of the Catholic Church. He worked tirelessly to focus the Church of his time on the true teachings of the Catholic faith. St. Robert was one of the most zealous critics of the heresies spread by Martin Luther and John Calvin. He fought valiantly to defend and protect the people of God. St. Robert didn't care in the least to know if his work would make a great noise in the world, but only whether it would bring about good. His brilliant spirituality always defeated his enemies of the faith, and therefore no one was able to give him a rebuttal. St. Robert was a very humble priest and was willing to give up his own life to preserve the Catholic Church. Some other spiritual works of St. Robert are, The Mind's Ascent to God, The Art of Dying Well and The Seven Words on the Cross. His spiritual writings are deep and beautiful and one can feel the Holy Spirit speaking through his words.

St. Robert held many important positions within the Catholic Church, such as the Holy Office, the Congregation of the Holy Rites and Propagation of the Faith. However, he never cared about his rank or position or his reputation.

He lived a very simple and humble life. He lived on the bare essentials and only ate the food available to the poor. St. Robert seemed happiest when he was working with the poorest of the poor to whom he would give his own personal goods and spiritual comfort. Once he helped a soldier by giving him the wall hangings from his room saying, "The walls won't catch cold."

An interesting fact about St. Robert is that he and some associates where asked by the Pope to produce a more accurate Gregorian calendar. Another interesting fact is that St. Robert Bellarmine received (but did not accept) votes in the two 1605 papal conclaves that eventually elected Leo XI and Paul V, and again in 1621 when Gregory XV was elected. If St. Robert didn't refuse to accept his election to the papacy in the seventeenth century, Pope Francis in 2013 would have been the second Jesuit Pope.

St. Robert was a man of action rather than speculation. He was a lover of truth, justice, and wisdom. He was very concrete and practical and he looked upon learning as just one of the ways of serving God. St. Robert possessed great wisdom and courage and is a holy, virtuous example of an amazing Saint for God's children with Down syndrome.

Through this Apostolate, St. Robert is petitioned to help each one of us understand the beautiful truth about God's children with Down syndrome. He's asked once again to defend the most basic fundamental truth of our faith, the dignity of human life and to intercede for us. We need St. Robert more than ever to enlighten our world, to uphold the truth, and to instill courage just like he did during the Counter Reformation. If he were alive today surely he would be one of the biggest defenders of life. St. Robert Bellarmine, pray for us!

 

Famous Quotations of St. Robert Bellarmine:

 

"Love is a marvelous and heavenly thing. It never tires and never thinks that it has done enough. It tackles work no matter how arduous and in its vocabulary is nowhere to be found the word impossible."

 

"The school of Christ is the school of love. In the last day, when the general examination takes place...Love will be the whole syllabus."

 

"Charity is that with which no man is lost, and without no man is saved."

 

"Eloquence without charity and wisdom is only empty chattering. Wisdom and eloquence without charity are dead and profitless. And charity without wisdom and eloquence is like a brave man unarmed."

 

"When we appeal to the throne of grace we do so through Mary, honoring God by honoring His Mother, imitating Him by exalting her, touching the most responsive chord in the Sacred Heart of Christ with the sweet name of Mary."

 

"You should always and everywhere be careful, my soul, over what you do, what you say, and what you think since nothing that you ever do, say, or think will be without God's seeing, hearing, or observing it."

 

"The body lives by breathing air, the soul lives by praying."

 

"Your God, my soul, truly lives and is the author and fountain of life."

 

SOURCES

 

  • Defenders of the Faith, Saints of the Counter-Reformation; Super Saints Book III by Bob and Penny Lord; copyright 1998
  • Robert Bellarmine Saint and Scholar by James Brodrick S.J.; copyright 1961
  • Robert Bellarmine, Spiritual Writings :The Classics of Western Spirituality; copyright 1989
  • www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=101
  • www.beliefnet.com
  • www.bostoncatholic.org
  • www.integratedcatholiclife.org

 

 

PRAYER TO OBTAIN FAVORS THROUGH THE INTERCESSION OF THE SERVANT OF  GOD
                                                                      
Dr. Jerome Lejeune
June 13, 1926 - April 3, 1994
 

 

Almighty God, who created man in your image and destined him to share your glory, we thank you for giving your Church the gift of Professor Jerome Lejeune, and exemplary Servant of Life.

He humbly placed his immense intelligence and deep faith at the service of the defense of human life, especially unborn life, always seeking to treat and to cure those in need. A passionate proponent of truth and charity, he bore eloquent witness before the contemporary world to the harmony between faith and reason.

Through his intercession, we pray that you grant the favors we ask, if it is your will, in the hope that the Church may one day proclaim him Saint.

*More information about Dr. Jerome lejeune and the Jerome Lejeune Foundation can be found at lejeuneusa.org.

GOD BLESS YOU!

 

Rosary Meditations

 

Joyful Mysteries

 

  1. The Annunciation (fruit of the mystery is humility) Just as The Mother of Our Lord willingly said "yes" to God, we pray that all mothers who receive a prenatal diagnosis that their baby has Down syndrome will humbly say "yes" to God.
  2. The Visitation (fruit of the mystery is love of neighbor) We pray for tremendous faith and grace for all women to carry their beautiful children with Down syndrome to term, so that their child will know, love, and serve the Lord.
  3. The Nativity of the Lord (fruit of the mystery is poverty of spirit, detachment from things of this world) May the birth of our children with Down syndrome bring us intimately closer to the infant Jesus.
  4. The Presentation (fruit of the mystery is obedience) We pray to give of ourselves completely, by asking for sacrificial love to care for our children with Down syndrome.
  5. Finding the Child Jesus in the Temple (fruit of the mystery is piety) May any doubts or sorrows that we may encounter during our lives turn to joy, as we grow in holiness together with our children with Down syndrome.

 

Luminous Mysteries

 

  1. The Baptism of Jesus (fruit of the mystery is openness to the Holy Spirit) May the living waters of Our Lord pour forth from our children of light to all people.
  2. The Miracle at Cana (fruit of the mystery is to Jesus through Mary) Blessed Virgin Mary, guide us to listen to your Son, so that we may in turn guide and direct our children to Jesus.
  3. Proclamation of the Kingdom of God (fruit of the mystery is repentance and trust in God) Lord, help our faith to grow and encourage us to be zealous in defending and protecting the precious unborn child with Down syndrome.
  4. The Transfiguration (fruit of the mystery is desire for holiness) Lord, your beauty shines through our children with Down syndrome to give praise to your Father in Heaven.
  5. The Institution of the Eucharist (fruit of the mystery is Eucharistic Adoration) May the daily bread of Our Lord, infuse in us an outpouring of love and generosity to our children with Down syndrome.

 

Sorrowful Mysteries
 

  1. The Agony in the Garden (fruit of the mystery is contrition) Lord, give us the grace to persevere during tough and troubling times, to not be afraid and to freely open our hearts to God the Father.
  2. The Scourging at the pillar (fruit of the mystery is purity and mortification) We pray in reparation for those times we have failed to accept Your will with our children.
  3. The Crowning with Thorns (fruit of the mystery is moral courage) Lord, help us to push aside prideful and selfish thoughts when we become frustrated or anxious when caring for our children with Down syndrome.
  4. The Carrying of the Cross (fruit of the mystery is patience) May the Blessed Virgin Mary be with us as we carry our crosses daily with courage and patience.
  5. The Crucifixion of Our Lord (fruit of the mystery is salvation and self-denial) May we realize that out of suffering comes hope, joy, and renewed strength.


Glorious Mysteries
 

  1. The Resurrection (fruit of the mystery is faith) May we come to appreciate how much fuller our lives have become with our beautiful children with Down syndrome.
  2. The Ascension (fruit of the mystery is hope) We pray for a more certain hope that You will never abandon us in our trials with our children.
  3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit (fruit of the mystery is wisdom) As the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles, may the same Holy Spirit descend upon us to teach others how wonderful our children with Down syndrome are to the community and to the world.
  4. The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (fruit of the mystery is devotion to Mary) Blessed Virgin Mary hold our hands as we care, teach and love our children.
  5. The Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (fruit of the mystery is eternal happiness) Blessed Virgin Mary, you are the perfect mother and St. Joseph, you are the perfect foster father, help us to be good moms and dads to our children with Down syndrome so that one day we may share in your happiness.