Developed by St. Cardinal Robert Bellarmine, 1542-1621, Doctor of the Church
1. The Church’s Name, Catholic, universal, and world wide, and not confined to any particular nation or people.
2. Antiquity, in tracing her ancestry directly to Jesus Christ.
3. Constant Duration, in lasting substantially unchanged for so many centuries.
4. Extensiveness, in the number of her loyal members.
5. Episcopal Succession, of her Bishops from the first Apostles at the Last Supper to the present hierarchy.
6. Doctrinal Agreement, of her doctrine with the teaching of the ancient Church.
7. Union, of her members among themselves, and with their visible head, the Roman Pontiff.
8. Holiness, of doctrine in reflecting the sanctity of GOD.
9. Efficacy, of doctrine in its power to sanctify believers, and inspire them to great moral achievement.
10. Holiness of Life, of the Church’s representative writers and defenders.
11. The glory of Miracles, worked in the Church and under the Church’s auspices.
12. The gift of Prophecy found among the Church’s saints and spokesmen.
13. The Opposition that the
Church arouses among those who attack her on the very grounds
that Christ was opposed by His enemies. [“If the world hate
you, know ye, that it hath hated me before you.”[John
14. The Unhappy End, of those who fight against her.
15. The Temporal Peace and Earthly Happiness of those who live by the Church’s teaching and defend her interests.
Originally posted on Jan 26 2016 here https://www.crossroadsinitiative.com/media/articles/the-fifteen-marks-of-the-catholic-church/ Edited for CityofGod.Blog.
Bio: Roberto Francesco Romolo Bellarmino,
St. Robert Bellarmine baptized Roberto Francesco Romolo Bellarmino, his hometown Montepulciano, Tuscany in 1542. In 1560, Roberto entered the Jesuit’s Roman College and joined the Society of Jesus, being ordained priest in 1570. He quickly gained a reputation for learning and eloquence.. St. Robert called to Rome in 1576 where he became professor of controversial theology at the newly founded ‘Collegium Romanum’. By 1588, Bellarmine was made Spiritual Father to the Roman College. Bellarmine called with Cardinal Gaetano, as theologians, to the Vatican embassy in France, Sixtus V needed them in France to protect the Church interests, amid the troubles of the civil wars, and Anti-Catholic bigotry. Pope rewarded him cardinal in 1599 and from 1602 to 1605, he was Archbishop of Capua. Late in life, he spent memorializing works of spirituality.
Jesus sent His church, St. Robert Bellarmine, along with a few other great saints, “Defenders of the Faith’ in the era named – Catholic Reformation, or the “Counter-Reformation,” following the Great Ecumenical Council of Trent. As a result, St. Robert’s work was largely devoted to scholarship and theology defending the Protestants Apostasy [Luther – 5 Solas] & the New Religions. He proved a vigorous and successful opponent of the Protestants, seeking to Re-Catechize lost souls, by reason and argument. Even the Apostate – King James I of England engaged in controversies with him. His chief work the “Disputationes de Controversiis Christianae Fidei adversus hujus temporis Haereticos” (3 vols., Ingolstadt, 1586-93), is a systematic and clear apologia for the Catholicity. He also took a prominent part in the production of the revised edition of the Vulgate, known as the Sixto-Clementine, in 1592, as well sharing his incites sequencing the End Times.. In the Papacy, he supported Paul V in his struggle against Venice and defended the concept of the temporal authority of the Pope, but saw this power as indirect and limited. The reasonableness and fairness of this great post-Tridentine theologian is demonstrated by his sympathetic interest in Galileo and his scientific views that were erroneously rejected as non-biblical by other Roman theologians (not scientists) of the day. [Later science and Bellarmine were correct, which had little to do with Galileo’s expulsion from the Church, as many compromised Novatories, (dreamer of novelties), historians profess. [see the real story of Catholic History chapter 24, pgs.145-152.]
St. Robert Bellarmine was canonized by Pius XI, in 1930 and declared to be a Doctor of the Church in 1931. His feast day in the Roman calendar is September 17th (formerly 13 May).