Excerpt from A Jesuit Cardinal: Robert Bellarmine
Partaking of that admiration of classic models which yet survived the days of Medicean glory in Florence, he found much delight in their study. From Virgil, especially, in due time, he drew a poetic inspiration, while Horace and the Satirists lent him their charms of number. He could early write Italian odes with equal facility and success, and after a few years some of his Latin verses obtained celebrity. The hymn in the Roman Breviary, in honour of Mary Magdalene, beginning with Pater superni luminis, inserted there by command of Clement VIII., 'was from his pen. That the spur of ambition urged him, even in the gay morning of childhood, is un doubted. He used to tell a little anecdote of himself, which says as much. At church one day, with his mother, during sermon, and rather amused than edified, he diverted her attention by repeating, again and again, and loud enough to be heard by many, Signora, do you not see that I am going to be made a Bishop and a Cardinal? Hush, said Cynthia, hush, hush! Nay, lady, he shouted, pointing at the pictures of illustrious Doctors that adorned the building, I shall be like one of them, some day. Jesuits have imagined that the boy prophesied.
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