Doctor of the Church
DOCTOR of the CHURCH: A title given since the Middle Ages to certain saints whose writing or preaching is outstanding for guiding the faithful in all periods of the Church’s history.
This Spiritual Dictionary Term is an excerpt from the Glossary of Dan’s book Navigating the Interior Life – Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God. To learn more, click here.
We have an excellent post on our site on the term Doctor of the Church titled: Who are the Doctors of the Church and Why Should I Care? To access it, click here. Since that post was written, the Church has added three more Doctors of the Church to the list that stood at 33 Doctors, which was reached when St John Paul II added St Thérèse of Lisieux as a Doctor of the Church in 1997. Those who have been named to the list since then and who now hold the title are:
- St Hildegard of Bingen – named by Pope Benedict XVI in 2012,
- St John of Avila – named by Pope Benedict XVI in 2012, and
- St Gregory of Narek – named by Pope Francis in February, 2015.