Anyone who has ever set a goal knows the blood, sweat, and tears it takes to achieve it.
Hours, days, months, and years spent studying, practicing, and sacrificing.
To become an attorney, a surgeon, or a scientist.
Learning to perform, to compete, or to create.
And enlist the help of the best teachers to make you even better.
It’s no different with the ultimate goal we Catholics share … to get to heaven.
Every day it takes work and learning how to improve.
Fortunately, Jesus teaches us everything we need to know to get to heaven.
We know it works because of the thousands of Saints who followed Jesus and achieved heaven.
We have their lives to emulate. But why stop there?
Why not seek out the best of the best to help us become a saint?
There are 36 Saints who the church recognizes as great teachers, earning them the designation of Doctor of the Church.
They’re called Doctors because the word is derived from the Latin, docere, which means “to teach.”
I had always heard the title Doctor of the Church used with some Saints, but never knew what it meant. Or how many of them there are. I had so many questions.
Hence this issue of Genuflect is focused on the Doctors of the Church. We look at what the title means, how a Saint is eligible, the process to become a Doctor of the Church, some notable Doctors, their writings, and several Saints who are on the next Doctor of the Church watch list.
These 36 men and women put in the blood, sweat, and tears and not only achieved Sainthood, but are considered elite Saints. They left behind their teachings so we can join them one day.
Founding Editor, Genuflect
P. S. For the latest Catholic news, be sure to check out Genuflect Daily. We hand pick the top Catholic news you care about. Subscribe to the site and submit stories you find on the internet … and upvote all your favorites.
What And Who Are The Doctors?
If you’ve ever wondered exactly who the Doctors of the Church are and why they have that title, this article is for you. Dr. Marcellino D’Ambrosio explains what it means, how you get the title, and just who the current 36 Saints are who have received the designation of Doctor of the Church.
Doctors of the Catholic Church – Complete List | Crossroads Initiative
How to Become a Doctor
Jonathan Wright explains what’s required and the process to become a Doctor of the Church, in case you’re wondering what you need to do.
How to Become a Doctor of The Church | Catholic Herald
The First Four Doctors
The title of Doctor of the Church was first given to four Saints in 1298, though they had long been considered as such. Here’s a brief look at these four incredible men and their contributions to Catholicism.
The Female Doctors
The Doctors of the Church are not all men. So here we shine a spotlight on the four special women who bring a feminine perspective to the group and continue to inspire generations with their writings and teachings.
The Female Doctors of The Church | Blessed is She
Saint Augustine of Hippo
You’ve no doubt run across Saint Augustine of Hippo. He’s one of the original four Doctors of the Church from the 4th Century and one of our most influential Church Fathers. Here are 10 interesting things to know about him.
St. Augustine: 10 Things to Know And Share | National Catholic Register
You’ll find writings by some of the Doctors of the Church on this site. Look for the [DOCTOR] label next to the Saint’s name and follow the links. Enjoy!
Fathers of The Church | New Advent
14 Would be Doctors
The main focus of this article is on the current Doctors of the Church. But of particular interest are two other subjects that it touches on. First, it discusses why martyrs are not eligible to be named Doctors of the Church. And second, it includes a list of 14 Saints and Blesseds who are on the waiting list for the title of Doctor of the Church.
36 Doctors For All That Ails You | National Catholic Register
Doctor Newman, I Presume?
Last October Pope Francis canonized John Henry Newman, the English writer, theologian and poet. And even before that ceremony in St. Peter’s Square, there were calls for the Saint to be made a Doctor of the Church. Like this one by Cardinal Marc Ouellet.
And while we’re speculating about the next Doctors of the Church, it’s no surprise to see Pope John Paul II’s name come up. This time the case was made by The Polish Bishops’ Conference.
Polish Bishops Call For John Paul II to be Named a Doctor of The Church | Catholic News Agency
US Bishops’ Recommendation
Last year the US Bishops joined a French initiative and unanimously voted to recommend to Pope Francis that Saint Irenaeus of Lyon, a second-century bishop, be declared a Doctor of the Church. It was a bit of a surprise move since most of the recently named Doctors lived in the second millennium. But the Bishops make a pretty strong case for St. Irenaeus.
The Novena to Saint Augustine of Hippo
The feast day of one of the original four Doctors of the Church, Saint Augustine of Hippo, is coming up on August 28th. There’s no better way to celebrate and ask for his intercession than by praying a novena. Begin with day 1 today to complete it in time for the feast day. You’ll find the Novena to Saint Augustine of Hippo here.
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