Doctors of the Church
- Doctors of the Church--Catholics United for the Faith.
- Doctors of the Church--Wikipedia.
- Doctors of the Church--Online Catholic Encyclopedia.
- Doctors of the Catholic Church--doctorsofthecatholicchurch.com.
"The requisite conditions are enumerated as three:
- eminens doctrina,
- insignis vitae sanctitas,
- Ecclesiae declaratio
(i.e., eminent learning, a high degree of sanctity, and official recognition by the Church)" (Online Catholic Encyclopedia).
"There are therefore [as of 2017, thirty-six] Doctors of the Church, of whom nine are Eastern and [twenty-seven] Western. They include three Carmelites, two Jesuits, three Dominicans, three Franciscans, a Redemptorist, and five Benedictines" (Online Catholic Encyclopedia, web editor's note, revised).
|St. Athanasius of Alexandria||297-373||May 2||Bishop of Alexandria. Dominant opponent of Arianism. "Athanasius Contra Mundum": he stood alone against the world. Father of Orthodoxy. The Athanasian Creed is attributed to him.|
|St. Ephraem of Syria||306-373||June 9||Biblical exegete and ecclesiastical writer. Called The Lyre of the Holy Spirit.|
|St. Hilary of Poitiers||315-368||January 13||Bishop. His name comes from the Greek word for happy or cheerful. Called "Hammer of the Arians" (Latin: Malleus Arianorum) and "The Athanasius of the West." Married man; his daughter, Abra, is also recognized as a saint. His feast day is a fixed point in the English court calendar and academic terms: Hilary, Easter, Trinity and Michaelmas.|
|St. Cyril of Jerusalem||315-387||March 18||Bishop of Jerusalem. Opponent of Arianism in the East. "He is venerated as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Anglican Communion."
"The catechetical lectures are among the most precious remains of Christian antiquity. The include an introductory address, eighteen instructions delivered in Lent to those who were preparing for baptism, and five 'mystagogical' instructions given during Easter week to the same persons after their baptism." Cyril's work also provides insight into the structure of the liturgy, the use of the sign of the Cross in prayer, and belief in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.
|St. Basil the Great of Caesarea||329-379||January 2||One of the three Cappadocian Fathers. Father of monasticism in the East.|
|St. Gregory Nazianzus||330-390||January 2||Called the Christian Demosthenes because of his eloquence and, in the Eastern Church, the Theologian. One of the three Cappadocian Fathers.|
|St. Ambrose||340-397||December 7||One of the four traditional doctors of the Latin Church. Meliglossos: honey-tongued; bees and beehives appear in his iconography. Opponent of the Arian heresy in the West. Bishop of Milan. Accepted local authority over local customs: ""When I am at Rome, I fast on a Saturday; when I am at Milan, I do not. Follow the custom of the church where you are." This gave rise to our saying, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do." He was chosen to be bishop before he was baptized: "On 7 December 374 he was baptized, ordained as a priest, and consecrated as bishop. He immediately gave away his wealth to the Church and the poor, both for the good it did, and as an example to his flock."|
|St. Jerome||343-420||October 30||One of the four traditional doctors of the Latin Church. Father of biblical studies.|
|St. John Chrysostom||347-407||September 13||
|St. Cyril of Alexandria||376-444||June 27||Patriarch. Opponent of Nestorian heresy. Made key contributions to Christology. "Seal of the Fathers."|
|St. Augustine of Hippo||354-430||August 28||Bishop of Hippo. First doctor of the Church and one of the four traditional doctors of the Latin Church. Doctor of Grace.|
|St. Peter Chrysologus||400-450||July 30||Bishop of Ravenna. Called Golden-Worded.|
|Pope St. Leo I the Great||400-461||December 10||Wrote against Nestorian and Monophysite heresies, and also against the errors of Manichaeism and Pelagianism.|
|Pope St. Gregory I the Great||540-604||October 3||Fourth and last of the traditional doctors of the Latin Church. Defended papal supremacy and worked for clerical and monastic reform.|
|St. Isidore of Seville||560-636||April 4||Archbishop, theologian, historian. Last Father of the Western church. Regarded as the most learned man of his time. Patron of the internet because of his encylopedic work, Etymologies.|
|St. Bede, the Venerable||673-735||May 25||Benedictine priest. Father of English history. "St Bede was the first person to be recorded as The Venerable."|
|St. John Damascene||675-749||December 4||Greek theologian. Called Chrysorrhoas, Golden Speaker because of his eloquence. Doctor of the Assumption.|
|St. Gregory of Narek||951-1003||October 13||Armenian monk, poet, mystical philosopher, theologian. "Armenia's first great poet"--"Book of Lamentations."|
|Middle Ages (scholasticism)||Date||Feast||Notes|
|St. Peter Damian||1007-1072||February 21||Benedictine. Ecclesiastical and clerical reformer.|
|St. Anselm of Canterbury||1033-1109||April 21||Archbishop of Canterbury. Father of scholasticism.|
|St. Bernard of Clairvaux||1090-1153||August 20||Cistercian. Called Mellifluous Doctor because of his eloquence.|
|Hildegaard of Bingen||1098-1179||September 17||"Sibyl of the Rhine." German writer, composer, philosopher, Christian mystic, Benedictine abbess, visionary, and polymath.|
|St. Anthony of Padua||1194-1231||June 13||Franciscan friar. Evangelical Doctor and Hammer of Heretics.|
|St. Albert the Great||1200-1280||December 15||Dominican. Patron of natural scientists; called Doctor Universalis, Doctor Expertus.|
|St. Bonaventure||1217-1274||July 15||Franciscan theologian. Seraphic Doctor.|
|St. Thomas Aquinas||1225-1274||January 28||Dominican philosopher and theologian. Called Angelic Doctor. Patron of Catholic schools and education.|
|St. Catherine of Siena||1347-1380||April 29||Dominican stigmatist and mystic. Persuaded the Pope to return to Rome after Avignon Exile (1377)--but that move, in turn, occasioned the Great Western Schism (1378-1417). "I trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, not in myself."|
|Saint John of Avila||1500-1569||10 May||Apostle of Andalusia. Descendent of "conversos," recently converted Spanish Jews. Had hoped to be a missionary in the Americas, but was persuaded to work in Andalusia instead. Mystic, ascetic, reformer. Founded several colleges. Revered by the Jesuits because of his support for the Society of Jesus. Inspired St. Teresa of Ávila, St. John of God, St. Francis Borgia and the Venerable Louis of Granada. Buried in a Jesuit Church.|
|St. Teresa of Avila||1515-1582||October 15||Founder of Discalced Carmelite order and great mystical author.|
|St. Peter Canisius||1521-1597||December 21
|Jesuit theologian. Leader in the Counter-Reformation. The "Second Apostle of Germany" and "The Hammer of Protestantism" (St. Boniface was the original "Apostle of Germany.") The Roman Calendar assigns his feast as an optional memorial on 21 December; the Society of Jesus celebrates his feast on 27 April.|
|St. John of the Cross||1542-1591||December 14||Founder of the Discalced Carmelites for men, following St. Teresa of Avila. Doctor of mystical theology.|
|St. Robert Bellarmine||1542-1621||October 17||Jesuit. Defended doctrine under attack during and after the Reformation. Wrote two catechisms. "Gentle Doctor of The Controversies" and the "Prince of Apologists."|
|St. Francis de Sales||1567-1622||January 24||Bishop, leader in Counter-Reformation. Patron of Catholic writers and the Catholic press.|
|St. Lawrence of Brindisi, O.F.M. Cap.||1559-1619||July 21||Apostolic Doctor. Vigorous Capuchin preacher in the post-Reformation period. Scripture scholar. He loved the Eucharist. On one occasion, it took him four hours to celebrate Mass; on another, sixteen! "He regarded Mary as the font of Mercy and the kindest of Mothers." Rode into battle against the Turks twice armed only with a cross.|
|St. Alphonsus Liguori||1696-1787||August 1||Patron of confessors and moralists. Founder of the Redemptorists.|
|St. Thérèse of Lisieux / Theresa of the Child Jesus||1873-1897||October 1||Patroness of the missions. Carmelite nun who offered her life for the salvation of souls and the growth of the Church.|
Four traditional doctors of the West
"Certain ecclesiastical writers have received this title on account of the great advantage the whole Church has derived from their doctrine. In the Western church four eminent Fathers of the Church attained this honour in the early Middle Ages: St. Gregory the Great, St. Ambrose, St. Augustine, and St. Jerome. The 'four Doctors' became a commonplace among the Scholastics, and a decree of Boniface VIII (1298) ordering their feasts to be kept as doubles in the whole Church is contained in his sixth book of Decretals (cap. "Gloriosus", de relique. et vener. sanctorum, in Sexto, III, 22)" (Old Catholic Encyclopedia).
- St. Ambrose (340-397)
- St. Jerome (343-420)
- St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430; "The first doctor of the Church")
- Pope St. Gregory the Great (540-604)
Doctors and doctrines
All the great defenders of Catholic dogmas are both saints and doctors of the Church:
- St Athanasius manfully defended the deity of Christ
- St Basil, St Gregory Nazianzus, St John Chrysostom, and St Hilary defended the dogma of the Holy Trinity
- St Basil, in particular, defended the deity of the Holy Spirit
- St Jerome manfully defended the perpetual virginity of our Lady
- St Cyril manfully defended Mary as "Mother of God"
- St Leo manfully defended the humanity of Christ and the hypostatic union of the two natures of Christ
- St John Damascene manfully defended the images of Christ, Mary, and the Saints
- St. Catherine of Siena
- St. Teresa of Avila
- St. John of the Cross
- St. Thérèse of Lisieux / Theresa of the Child Jesus
- St. Hildegaard of Bingen
- St. Anthony
- St. John of Avila
- St. Peter Canisius