St. Robert Bellarmine was born 3rd of 10 children. In 1560 he entered the Society of Jesus and after his ordination he began to teach at Louvain (1570-1576) where he became famous for his Latin sermons. In 1576, he was appointed to the chair of controversial theology at the Roman College, becoming Rector in 1592; he went on to become Provincial of Naples in 1594 and Cardinal in 1598. Continue reading about him HERE. It\’s a very interesting read! His Feast day is Sept. 17th in the new calendar and May 13th in the traditional calendar.
Because St. Robert is often pictured wearing his Cardinal\’s hat (AKA: biretta) we made a mini red biretta. I have to tell you we had a hard time coming up with an easy ornament for St. Robert! This ornament may be a bit difficult for some of you. If so, consider creating a mini solar system – He was part of the Galileo case. (Read more in the above link)
To create this ornament you will need red felt and hot glue. If you want to add the book you will also need maroon and white felt.
We started creating the biretta by making the above \”shape\” from red felt. It was a 1 inch by 4 inch piece of felt. It was sectioned into 4 parts. Each of the 4 parts had two bumps. The end bumps were more of a triangle shape.
Then we glued the ends together, so it was in a circle shape – like above.
Now we glued the bumps together in pairs. The bump on the one section was paired with a bump on the section beside it. DON\’T glue the two triangle bumps together yet!
So you should now have three paired bumps. The two triangle-shaped bumps should now be folded down to make that top portion flat. A biretta\’s top only has 3 bumps and one flat part.
Now we added glue to the inside of the hat, to secure the bumped parts and the folded triangle shaped parts. We also added glue to the corners and pinched them together to make it more of a square shape.
If you want to add a book for the biretta to sit on, create one by gluing three smaller rectangles into a larger folded rectangle. Then glue the hat to the book. Add a threaded loop to the center of the hat to hang it on the liturgical tree.
Note: If you are having trouble understanding my instructions for the biretta, please watch the video below. His pattern in the video is a little different than mine, but it may help you make the above ornament. By the look of the video, I have a feeling paper birettas are easier to make than felt!
The video shows how to make a human-sized biretta.
You might like this for an All Saints day costume! There are many priest and bishop saints who wore a biretta. You might also like to make full-sized birettas for your kids to wear as you celebrate St. Robert\’s feast day!
Have a blessed day as you celebrate St. Robert of Bellarmine!
~Jennifer and Elizabeth