Saturday, May 04, 2024


Doctors of the Church 

Chronological list of the Doctors of the Church

There are over 10,000 saints recognized by the Roman Catholic Church. However, only a few dozen of them have been named a doctor of the church, an honorific that recognizes the importance of their teaching, scholarship and writings.

Today, the Roman Catholic Church lists 37 saints officially recognized by papal pronouncement as doctors of the church. Until after the Second Vatican Council, which met from 1962 to 1965 and initiated significant modern reforms in the church, all doctors of the church were men – usually bishops or priests

Over time, a handful of Christian saints and teachers became especially renowned for their writings or scholarship. A few from the early centuries of the church were recognized as important teachers, or fathers of the church, by both Western and Eastern churches – which finally split into the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches, respectively, in the 11th century.

In the Middle Ages, other saintly teachers in Western Europe were acclaimed specifically as doctors of the church by the authority of popes. Some revered theologians began to be known as doctor of a specific idea or characteristic. For example, contemporaries of the medieval theologian St. Albert the Great, who died in 1280, came to refer to him as the “universal doctor” because of the wide range of topics he covered in his writings. Even one or two of the earlier fathers of the church acquired these additional titles, such as St. Augustine. This North African saint, one of the most influential Christian theologians, died in 430 and became known as the “doctor of grace” because of his theories about grace as a free gift of God. In several regions, local communities gave similar titles to other respected figures even if they were not officially recognized as saints.

Catherine of Siena 

Catherine of Siena was of low social status, uneducated, illiterate, from an ordinary family who in the course of a very short life, became an object of fascination to thousands and a counselor to kings, queen and popes. Though she never studied theology and never learned formally to read and write, she came to be recognized as Doctor of the Church and a master of the spiritual life.


St Jerome: From Feminist, Vitriolic, Remorsefully Licentious, Many Enemies, Reluctant Priest, Vulgate Author to Doctor of the Church

September 30 is Feast Day of Saint Jerome.  Saint Jerome is a person one can easily identify with: As a young man drawn to libertinage, with a curious mind, he learns to stand on principle, eventually becoming an ascetic and a Bible Scholar. Saint Jerome was a Feminist, and an easy target of the noted Porphyry's accusation that the Christian communities were run by women and that the favor of the ladies decided who could accede to the dignity of the priesthood.


February 27, Feast of Saint Gregory of Narek and Doctor of the Church

 Grigor Narekatsi, anglicized as Gregory of Narek, was an Armenian mystical and lyrical poet, monk, and theologian. He is venerated as a saint in the Armenian Apostolic and Catholic Churches and was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Francis in 2015.

In January 2022, Pope Francis bestowed the title doctor of the church on St. Irenaeus of Lyons, a Christian bishop who died about A.D. 200 For centuries, Christians in both the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches have venerated him as a saint.

No comments: