There are few figures in the history of the Church that have had such a wide-ranging effect on the religious life of their age as Robert Bellarmine. Born in Tuscany in 1542, he entered the Society of Jesus at the height of the Counter-Reformation. His first major work, The Controversies, was published in 1586 and became the standard apologetic used in disputes with Protestants. His revision of the Latin Vulgate Bible that had been commissioned by the Council of Trent became the standard Catholic text for over three hundred years. In 1957, he published his most popular and memorable work, Dottrina cristiana breve. That short catechism was used by Jesuit missionaries in sixty-two languages for over three centuries. Scholar, bishop, and saint, Bellarmine was a true Renaissance figure whose diverse skills shaped the Church of his day. Perhaps less well known is his contribution to the spiritual tradition of post-Tridentine Catholic spirituality. In this volume, two of his most influential ascetical works have been produced for the first time in modern English translations.
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