|St. Robert Bellarmine (1542–1621)
One of the most loyal defenders of the Church during the Reformation, Robert Bellarmine stood out to the recruiters in the minor leagues during his philosophy and theology studies. After ordination, he started a new franchise as he served as the first professor of theology at Louvain and taught courses aimed at answering the challenges of Luther and Calvin.No stranger to controversy, he worked in Rome, first at the Roman College (the Gregorian University), then as an author before he was named rector of the university and provincial of the province of Naples. The honors kept coming: first he made the league All Star team as cardinal, then the Olympic team as archbishop of Capua. In the later part of his life, he switched from player to coach: his evident holiness edified many people through his spiritual works, and shortly before his death many church officials visited him and asked him to pray for them in heaven.
|St. Edmund Campion (1540-1581)
Edmund was born in London, England. He showed his talent early on at St. John’s College in Oxford. Eventually he earned a Master’s degree at Oxford and received Holy Orders as an Anglican Deacon. Five years later he publically left the Anglican Church and spent the rest of his life hiding from pursuers, since it was illegal to be Catholic in England. In another bold move, he joined the Jesuits in 1573 and spent much of his time teaching rhetoric and philosophy. In 1580 he joined a clandestine mission back to his homeland in England. You know Campion had ice water in his veins because the penalty for being a professed Catholic in England was certain torture and death.Within a year of sneaking into England under the guise of being a jewel merchant, Campion’s presence was sniffed out by Anglican and governmental authorities. He was captured by a spy and given the chance to renounce his faith in order to avoid death. Not surprisingly he argued
flawlessly in order to spare his life and the lives of several on trial with him. Unfortunately, those who hunted him wanted to condemn him. In November of 1581, he and several others were sentenced to be hung, drawn, quartered, and then beheaded. At 41 year of age Edmund Campion was brutally killed in the same London that once lauded him as a fortunate son. He is always a good bet in the tournament because persistence and hard-nosed grit are what make this Campion a Champion