St. Hildegard of Bingen

Pope adds two saints to list of Church ‘doctors’

By  Francis X. Rocca, Catholic News Service
  • October 14, 2012

VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict added 12th-century German abbess St. Hildegard of Bingen and St. John of Avila to the roster of doctors of the universal Church.

The Pope proclaimed the new doctors at Mass Oct. 7 in St. Peter’s Square, where the thousands in attendance included pilgrims waving Spanish flags, and Germannuns in traditional habits.

In his homily, Pope Benedict noted St. Hildegard’s knowledge of medicine, poetry and music, and called her a “woman of brilliant intelligence, deep sensitivity and recognized spiritual authority. The Lord granted her a prophetic spiritand fervent capacity to discern the signs of the times.”

He said that St. John, “a profound expert on the sacred Scriptures,” knew how to“penetrate in a uniquely profound way the mysteries of the redemption worked by Christ for humanity.”

The Doctors of the Church,saints honoured for particularly important contributions to theology and spirituality, come from both the Eastern and Western Church traditions.

The 35 doctors include early Church fathers such as Sts. Jerome, John Chrysostom and Augustine, and theologians such as Sts. Thomas Aquinas, Bonaventureand John of the Cross, but also St. Therese of Lisieux, who was honoured by Blessed John Paul II in 1997, despite her lack of scholarly accomplishment.
St. Hildegard is the fourth female doctor of the Church, joining Sts. Therese, Catherine of Siena and Teresa of Avila.

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