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!
"Truly incredible is the intimacy which God shows in this life to the pure of heart."
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.
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.
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.
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 andThe 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!
"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."
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!
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 and brothers that we can for your children with Down syndrome. Help us to accept these, your children, with gratitude as a beautiful gift from God. Make us faithful to God's will. Guide us in practicing wisdom, fortitude, gentleness, and most of all, love, so as to help nurture your beautiful children. We ask this through Jesus Christ, Your Son, Our Lord, in whom we place all our trust. Amen.