1. Among its students the University counts 23 saints, including ...
Saint Robert Bellarmine
Montepulciano, Siena, 1542 - Rome, Sept. 17, 1621
Born in Montepulciano in 1542, by a rich and numerous family . Robert Bellarmine joins the Society of Jesus in 1560. He studied in Padua, in Leuven, and at the Roman College of Rome. In those years among his pupils there is Saint Louis Gonzague. He is made a cardinal and Archbishop of Capua in 1599. He becomes an established postridentino theologian. He participated in the inquisitorial process of Galileo and Giordano Bruno. Famous was his work “The art of well dying”. He died in Rome on September 17, 1621. In 1930 he had the triple glorification of blessed, Saint and doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XI. (Avvenire)
Saint Robert Bellarmine was a student, Professor, Rector and now Patron of the Gregorian University.
Saint Louis Gonzague
Castiglione delle Stiviere, Mantua, March 9, 1568-Roma, June 21, 1591
Son of the Duke of Mantua, he was born on 19 March 1568, from an early age his father taught him to arms, so much that when he was five he already wore a breastplate, and a helmet and risked getting crushed by firing a shot with a cannon. But when 10 years old Luigi had decided for another way: the one that through humility, the vow of chastity and a life dedicated to others would have led to God. At 12 years old he received his first communion from Saint Charles Borromeo, visiting Brescia. He decided to enter the society of Jesus and to do that he had to support two years of struggle against his father. Now free to follow Christ, he renounced the title and inheritance and entered the Jesuit Roman College, dedicating himself to the humble and the sick, distinguishing himself especially during the plague epidemic that struck Rome in 1590.
On that occasion, carrying on his shoulders a moribund, he was infected and died. It was the 1591, he was only 23 years old. (Avvenire)
Saint Maximilian Kolbe
Poland, January 8, 1894-Auschwitz, August 14, 1941
Maximilian Maria Kolbe was born in 1894 at Zdunska-Wola, Poland. He enters the Franciscan order and, while Europe is going to start a world war, he plays an intense missionary apostolate in Europe and Asia. Suffering from tuberculosis, Kolbe gives birth to «Knight of the Immaculata», periodical that reaches in ten years a circulation of millions of copies. In 1941 he was deported to Auschwitz. Here he is aimed at the most humiliating tasks like transporting corpses at crematory. In extermination camp Kolbe offers his life as a priest in exchange for that of a family man, his fellow prisoner. He dies uttering «Ave Maria». These are his last words, it is August 14, 1941. John Paul II has called him "the patron saint of our difficult century." His figure stands at the crossroads of the emerging problems of our time: hunger, world peace, reconciliation, the need to give meaning to life and deathMaximilian Maria Kolbe was born in 1894 at Zdunska-Wola, Poland. He enters the Franciscan order and, while Europe is going to start a world war, he plays an intense missionary apostolate in Europe and Asia. Suffering from tuberculosis, Kolbe gives birth to «Knight of the Immaculata», periodical that reaches in ten years a circulation of millions of copies. In 1941 he was deported to Auschwitz. Here he is aimed at the most humiliating tasks like transporting corpses at crematory. In extermination camp Kolbe offers his life as a priest in exchange for that of a family man, his fellow prisoner. He dies uttering «Ave Maria». These are his last words, it is August 14, 1941. John Paul II has called him "the patron saint of our difficult century." His figure stands at the crossroads of the emerging problems of our time: hunger, world peace, reconciliation, the need to give meaning to life and death. (Avvenire)
All the Alumni made Saints
- Almond John, 1577-1612.
- Bellarmino Roberto, s.j., 1542-1621.
- Berchmans Jan, s.j., 1599-1621.
- Bilczewski Giuseppe, 1860-1923
- Crisino Marco Stefano, 1588-1619.
- da Porto Maurizio Leonardo, o.f.m. 1676-1751.
- Del Bufalo Gaspare, c.p.p.s., 1786-1837.
- de Lellis Camillo, m.j., 1550-1614.
- De Rossi Giovanni B., 1689-1764.
- Gonzaga Luigi, s.j., 1568-1591.
- Kirby Luke, 1548-1582.
- Kolbe Maksymilian Maria, o.f.m.conv. 1894-1941.
- Lewis David, s.j., 1617-1679.
- Morse Henry, s.j., 1595-1645.
- Pelczar Giuseppe Sebastiano, 1842-1924.
- Pallotti Vincenzo, s.a.c., 1795-1850.
- Plasden Polydore, 1563-1591.
- Plunkett Oliver, 1629-1681.
- Sherwin Ralph, 1550-1581.
- Southwell Robert, s.j., 1561-1595.
- Wall John, o.f.m., 1620-1679.
- Walpole Henry, s.j., 1559-1595.
- White Eustace, 1560-1591.
2. Among its students the University counts more than 50 Blessed souls
All the Alumni made Blessed
- Aquaviva Rodolfo, s.j., 1550-1583.
- Alojzije Stepinac, 1898-1960.
- Baldinucci Antonio, s.j., 1665-1717.
- Bales Christopher, 1564-1590.
- Balicki Giovanni, 1869-1948
- Berno Pietro, s.j., 1552-1583.
- Beyzym Jan, 1850-1912.
- Brandsma Tito, o.carm., 1881-1942.
- Bulešić Miroslav, 1920-1947.
- Buxton Christopher, 1562-1588.
- Cornelius John, s.j., 1557-1594.
- Cottam Thomas, s.j., 1549-1582.
- Crescitelli Alberico B., p.i.m.e., 1863-1900.
- De Puzol Buenaventura, 1897-1936.
- De Rafelbunol Jacobus, 1909-1936.
- De Vinalesa Aurelio, 1896-1936.
- Duke Edmund, 1563-1590.
- Fausti Giovanni, 1899-1946.
- Hart William, 1557-1583.
- Haydock George, 1556-1584.
- Hemerford Thomas, 1554-1584.
- Ingram John, 1565-1594.
- Iturrato Zubero Domenico, o.ss.t., 1901-1927.
- James Edward, 1559-1588.
- Johnson Robert, 1544-1582.
- Lacey William, 1531-1582.
- Lambton Joseph, 1568-1592.
- Leigh Richard, 1561-1588.
- Lockwood John, 1561-1642.
- Lowe John, 1533-1586.
- Manna Paolo, p.i.m.e., 1872-1952.
- Middleton Robert, s.j., c. 1571-1601.
- Morton Robert, 1547-1588.
- Munden John, 1543-1584.
- Navarro Pietro Paolo, s.j., 1560-1622.
- Newport (Smith) Richard, 1572-1612.
- Novarese Luigi, 1914-1984.
- Oldcorne Edward, s.j., 1561-1606.
- Pio IX (Giovanni Maria Mastai Ferretti) 1792-1878.
- Pollo Secondo, 1908-1941
- Pomort Thomas, c. 1560-1592.
- Rebuschini Enrico, m.i. 1860-1938.
- Romero Óscar, 1917-1980.
- Romza Teodor, 1911-1947.
- Silvestrelli Cesare,
- Shert John, ....-1582.
- Spinola Carlo, s.j., 1564-1622.
- Thules John, 1568-1616.
- Thwing Edward, 1565-1600.
- Turner Antony, s.j., 1628-1679.
- Ventaja Diego, 1880-1936.
- Versiglia Luigi, s.d.b., 1873-1930.
- Watkinson Robert, 1579-1602.
- Woodcock John, o.f.m., 1603-1646.
- Yuste Cava Felix, 1887-1936.
3. Among its students the University counts 16 Popes
3a. XVII Century Popes
Alessandro Ludovisi, 1621-1623
His tomb is in the Roman College church of S. Ignatius. It was he who canonized St. Ignatius of Loyola and St. Francis Xavier as well as St. Philip Blacks, St. Isidore and St. Teresa of Avila.
Maffeo Barberini, 1623-1644
He was the founder of the Seminar (Urban) of Propaganda in Rome.
Giovan Battista Pamphili, 1644-1655
He condemned the five heretical propositions of Cornelius Otto Jansen, known by the Latinized name of Jansen.
Giulio Rospigliosi, 1667-1669
Pope of great devotion. he Intervened effectively in the controversial Jansenist.
Antonio Pignatelli, 1691-1700
He distinguished for charity and was tireless against Gallicanism.
3b. XVIII Century Popes
Michelangelo Conti, 1721-1724
He continued action in the short reign of his predecessors in order to extirpate Jansenism.
3c. XIX Century Popes
Giovanni Maria Mastai Ferretti, 1792
In 1954-1955 solemn opening of the Apostolic Process of Beatification at the Congregation of Saints.
On July 6, 1985 was promulgated the decree on the heroic virtues of the Venerable Pius IX.
On 20 December 1999 it was promulgated the decree of recognition of the miracle attributed to Pius IX.
Gioacchino Pecci, 1878-1903
He tried to reconcile the Church with the modern era, while maintaining the doctrinal principles of his predecessors. In the Vatican he promoted the study of astronomy and the natural sciences. In 1883 he opened the Vatican archives to scholars of all faiths. He was a man of intense religious piety with rather conservative trends.
3d. XX Century Popes
Giacomo della Chiesa, 1914-1922
His pontificate was dominated by the war with its consequences. After the war he pleaded in favor of international reconciliation and took charge of the new agreements that the new Europe made desirable. He promulgated in 1917 the new "Code of Canon Law".
Achille Ratti, 1922-1939
He negotiated the Lateran Pacts in 1929 with Mussolini. Very interested in foreign missions, he doubled during his pontificate the number of missionaries. Great scholar, he promoted science and serious research; he founded the Pontifical Institute of Christian Archaeology; he erected the Vatican Pinacoteca and moved to Castel Gandolfo Observatory, equipping it with very modern instruments. He founded in 1936 the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. In 1931 he installed a radio station in the Vatican City and used it for pastoral purposes.
Eugenio Pacelli, 1939-1958
He was born in Rome in 1876. He entered the service of the Pope in 1901 and from 1904 to 1916 he was assistant to Cardinal Gasparri in the codification of canon law. In 1917 he was appointed nuncio in Monaco of Bavaria by Benedict XV; in 1920 he was appointed nuncio of the new German republic. He was appointed cardinal in 1929 and in 1930 succeeded Gasparri as Secretary of State.
He was elected Pope in 1939 and fought to prevent the outbreak of war with many diplomatic actions. In the political field railed against communism, in the moral field he opposed to the thesis of collective guilt that Germany referred to. During his pontificate the number of dioceses increased a great deal , but the Church suffered many limitations and losses. He was the first Pope to become known through radio and television. He died at Castel Gandolfo in 1958.
Giovanni Battista Montini, 1963-1978
He was born in 1897, from a wealthy family, in the province of Brescia. He held positions in the Vatican Secretariat of State since 1922 and in 1931 he was appointed domestic prelate of His Holiness.
In 1944 he received the direction of the affairs of the Church. Became Prosegretario State in 1952 and in 1954 was appointed archbishop of Milan. In 1958 Pope John XXIII named him cardinal. In 1963 he was elected successor to Pope John XXIII. He continued the Second Vatican Council and introduced many important procedural reforms; among others the admission of lay men and women, religious and secular, as Auditors, the appointment of four moderators and a more discrete formulation of the rules of secrecy. Perhaps the most important legacy that Paul VI gave to the Church was the constant expansion and internationalization of the Sacred College, from 80 original members to 138 in 1976. One of his notable initiative was the reduction of the pump and of papal ceremonies. He died at Castel Gandolfo in 1978 struck by a heart attack.
John Paul I
Albino Luciani Palombi, 1978-1978
He was born in 1912 in the province of Belluno. In 1937 he became vice-rector of the seminary of Belluno and for 10 years he taught the most important issues, holding also the office of Vicar General of the Bishop of Belluno. In 1958 Pope John XXIII appointed him bishop of Vittorio Veneto. From 1972 to 1975 he was vice-president of the Italian Bishops Conference, and on March 5, 1973 he received the cardinal's hat. In the field of theology he was a conservative, but in the disciplinary field he was a reformist.
He was elected Pope in August 1978 and took the name of John Paul I, wishing to combine the progressive qualities and the traditional ones of John XXIII and Paul VI. Increasingly intolerant of manifestations of pure form and very humble, he did without the traditional coronation and on Sept. 3 he came into office simply invested with the pallium. He died Sept. 28 by a heart attack.
4. At the beginning of this century, a former Professor at the University came to the papal throne under the name of ...
Joseph Ratzinger, 2005
Pope Benedict XVI was born in Marktl am Inn, Diocese of Passau (Germany), on April 16, 1927 (Holy Saturday) and was baptized the same day. His father, a policeman, belonged to an old family of farmers of humble economic circumstances from Lower Bavaria. His mother was the daughter of artisans from Rimsting on the shore of Lake Chiem, and before marrying she had worked as a cook in various hotels. He spent his childhood and adolescence in Traunstein, a small village near the Austrian border, 30 km. from Salzburg. In this context, that he himself defined as "Mozartian", he received his Christian, human and cultural education. Not easy was the period of his youth. Faith and the family upbringing prepared him for the harsh experience of those years, during which the Nazi regime pursued a hostile attitude towards the Catholic Church. The young Joseph saw some Nazis beating the Parish Priest before the celebration of the Holy Mass. It was just during that complex situation that he discovered the beauty and truth of faith in Christ; concerning this, a key role played his family's attitude, that always gave him a clear witness of goodness and hope, rooted in a convinced attachment to the Church.
From 1946 to 1951 he studied philosophy and theology in the Higher School of Philosophy and Theology of Freising and at the University of Monaco of Bavaria. He was ordained June 29, 1951. One year later he began teaching at the Higher School of Freising. In 1953 he obtained his doctorate in theology with a thesis entitled "People and House of God in St. Augustine's doctrine of the Church." Four years later, under the direction of the renowned professor of fundamental theology Gottlieb Söhngen, he qualified for University teaching with a dissertation on: "The Theology of History in St Bonaventure". After lecturing on dogmatic and fundamental theology at the Higher School of Philosophy and Theology in Freising, he continued to teach at Bonn, from 1959 to 1963; in Munster, from 1963 to 1966, and in Tübingen, from 1966 to 1969. In the latter year he became professor of dogmatics and history of dogma at the University of Regensburg, where he held also the position of Vice President of the University.
From 1962 to 1965 he made a notable contribution to Vatican II as an "expert"; he attended as theological advisor of Cardinal Joseph Frings, Archbishop of Cologne. An intense scientific activity led him to important positions in the service of the German Bishops' Conference and the International Theological Commission.
In 1972, together with Hans Urs von Balthasar, Henri de Lubac and other great theologians, he initiated the theological journal "Communio".
From 1972 to 1973 he taught at the Pontifical Gregorian University taking his course on the topic "Eucharistielehre." On 25 March 1977 Pope Paul VI appointed him Archbishop of Monaco and Freising and received episcopal ordination on May 28. Paul VI created him Cardinal, with the priestly title of "Santa Maria Comforter to Tiburtino", in the Consistory of 27 June of the same year. In 1978, Cardinal Ratzinger took part in the Conclave which elected John Paul I, from 25 to 26 August. In October of the same year he took part in the Conclave that elected Pope John Paul II. On 25 November 1981 John Paul II appointed him Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and President of the Pontifical Biblical Commission and of the International Theological Commission. On 15 February 1982 he resigned the pastoral governance of the Archdiocese of Monaco and Freising; on 5 April 1993 the Holy Father elevated him to the Order of Bishops assigning to him the Suburbicarian of Velletri - Segni.
On 19 April 2005 he was elected pope by the cardinals in conclave and took the name of Benedict XVI.