Friday, September 2, 2011

Who will be the next Doctor of the Church?

September 2, 2011. ( When Benedict XVI named St. John of Avila a Doctor of the Church during World Youth Day Madrid 2011, the number of Doctors reached 34. The honor is given to those who made  contributions to theology, which remain relevant, regardless of time.

But the question is who will be next? Well, according to Italian Vaticanist Sandro Magister,  for now there are at least 17 candidates on hold. Eleven of them are male and six are female.

The one with the most progress is the case of French priest St. Louis Mary Grignion de Montfort.
[Huzzah!!!  One of my fave saints!]  He founded the Society of Mary
[Uhm, no.  Its the Company of Mary not SOCIETY, also known as the Monfort Fathers.]  and came up with the phrase “Totus Tuus,” meaning “Totally Yours” used by John Paul II. [Geez!  Is that the best the writer can write about the saint?  He wrote three great masterpieces only a Doctor of the Church can do, True Devotion to Mary, the Secret of Mary and the Secret of the Rosary.]

French priest, St. Vincent de Paul, who dedicated his life to helping the poor is also on the list.
[Uhm not really if you ask me.]

Among the candidates are Spaniards, like St. Thomas of Villanova as well as St. Ignatius of  Loyola, a knight who founded the Jesuits.
[Uhm...The "uhm" is for his sons today and not for the saint.  He is one of my patron saints, ok?  And I like his Spiritual Exercises.]

Several Italians are also being considered, including St. John Bosco,
[I like too!] founder of the Salesian Order. Also Antonino of Florence, [yes!] who was born in that same city and later became its Archbishop. St. Bernardino of Siena [yes!]  who preached all over Italy in the 15th century and St. Lorenzo Giustiniani. [Not read much about him.] He was a bishop and the first Patriarch of Venice.

It also includes St. Cyril and St. Methodius, the two brothers who became missionaries of Christianity in the Slavic countries. Then, there's St. Gregory of Narek, who was an Armenian monk, poet, philosopher and theologian.
[Hey I know a guy who will love to hear this news!]

Among the six women are St. Brigit of Sweden, who founded the Bridgettine Order and St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, a French nun who was beatified in 1920.

There's also St. Veronica Giuliani, an Italian nun who was canonized in 1839 and St. Hildegard of Bingen, who is mostly known for her religious visions.

The Patroness of the West Indies, St. Gertrude 'The Great', is also on the list as well as blessed Julian of Norwich who was originally from England.

Pope Paul VI named one Doctor during his pontificate as did John Paul II.
Benedict XVI has named one so far, but it's still unknown if he'll name more in the future. 


I am not sure others in the list should be named doctors. But its just me. 

What do you think? 

Any missed names?


  1. Don't forget Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman. He is the Morning Star of the Second Vatican Council. Cardinal Newman foresaw what the "updating" of the Council really means. Unfortunately we are so far from Newman's vision.

    Blessed John Henry Newman, witness for Catholicity and the fullness of the Faith. Pray for us to God!

  2. So agree Doc Ben!

    And if I may say, if GK Chesterton gets beatified, he is a great one as well!

  3. The list -- now publicized by Sandro Magister -- dates back to 1997. Since then SS. Faustina Kowalska and Josemaria Escriva plus BB. John Henry Newman and John Paul II himself have been proposed for the honor.

    Magister's list leaves out another saint who was already being proposed as a Doctor even prior to 1997: St. John Eudes, Doctor of the Liturgical Cult of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

    Gregory of Narek was a great poet and writer, but he lived and died as a member of the Armenian Apostolic Church, which for all his life (and just like today) was not in communion with Rome.

    I'm not a fan of declaring recipients of visions and private revelations (SS. Bridget of Sweden, Hildegard, Margaret Mary Aacoque, Gertrude the Great, Faustina Kowalska and Bl. Julian of Norwich) as Doctors of the Church. Doctors of the Church are supposed to be men and women of outstanding learning as reflected in their works; crediting them for the brilliance of the messages they received from heaven is, well... unfair, and implicitly casts doubt on the supernatural character of their visions and revelations.

    Practically no writings of SS. Cyril and Methodius survive.

    I read some of St. John Bosco's writings in my teens, as well a formal study of his spirituality. He was a good and practical spiritual writer, but hardly a creative or profound one. His works were basically derivative from those of St. Alphonsus Liguori, whose asceticism and severity he greatly mitigated. In short: he was a busy priest whose biggest concern was to write easily understood and practical guides to the spiritual life -- laudable, but hardly the work of a Doctor of the Church. (Same with St. Vincent de Paul).

  4. How about another Discalced Carmelite daughter (nun) of St. Teresa of Avila, St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross known by secularist as Edith Stein. She has written books like The Science of the Cross, Knowledge and Faith, Philosophy of Psychology and the Humanities,Spirituality of the Christian Woman, On the problem of Empathy, etc.