In 1609 he published Tortura Torti, a learned work which grew out of the Gunpowder Plot controversy and was written in answer to Bellarmine's Matthaeus Tortus, which attacked James I.'s book on the oath of allegiance.
When Galileo visited Rome in December 1615 he was warmly received by Bellarmine, and the high regard in which he was held is clearly testified in Bellarmine's letters and in Galileo's dedication to the cardinal of his discourse on "flying bodies."
The last years of Bellarmine's life were mainly devoted to the composition of devotional works and to securing the papal approbation of the new order of the Visitation, founded by his friend St Francis de Sales, and the beatification of St Philip Neri.
- Of the older editions of Bellarmine's complete works the best is that in 7 vols.
When he was but nineteen he accepted a challenge put forth by Henry Fitzsimons, a learned Jesuit, then a prisoner in Dublin, inviting discussion of Bellarmine's arguments in defence of Roman Catholicism, and acquitted himself with much distinction.