Rorate Caeli

Saint Hildegard and Saint John of Avila, Doctors

Pope Benedict XVI announced on this feast of Pentecost that he will officially proclaim Saints Hildegard of Bingen and John of Avila Doctors of the Church on October 7, first day of the ordinary assembly of the Synod of Bishops during the "Year of Faith".  (First mentions by us: Saint John of Avila, May 5, 2011; Saint Hildegard, Dec. 15, 2011.)

19 comments:

  1. Marty Jude4:04 PM

    Anonymous said...
    "The fact that St Hildegard is being made a "Doctor" can be read as a will of the Pope to make the whole Church remember that the devil exists and works... Her writings are specially clear about the existence of the devil."

    Really? I have listened to some music attributed to her. Seemed a bit mystical as I remember!

    Can you provide any good titles? Would like to read up on her writings and life.

    I recall in my 'conservative' home parish, as a teenager in the 80's, some people denied the existence of the devil. Fortunately, my parents advised otherwise, and reminded me of Jesus' words in the gospels. The devil is real and working in The Church. Who in their right mind could doubt that? Back to Leo XIII again!!!

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  2. Next year, after SSPX recognition: Pius IX, Pius X and Marcel Lefebvre, doctors of the Church!

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  3. Marty Jude5:23 PM

    Dear NC / moderator...the original post by 'anonymous' has been removed...!

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  4. Relucant Pessimist6:38 PM

    There is a full annotated scholarly edition and translation of one of her most important spiritual works, Scivias, in the Classics of Western Spirituality series published by Paulist Press (ISBN 0809131307).

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  5. Peterman6:43 PM

    I usually avoid strawberries because St Hildegarde advised that they, among other foods, should not be avoided.
    What can I say, I trust in the saints and I read and think about what they wrote.

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  6. Wait... what? Read that again.

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  7. Peterman6:59 PM

    Sorry"not" should NOT have been in there. Always type these thoughts too quickly.

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  8. Ora et Labora9:15 PM

    I find Blessed Hidegard Von Bigen simply facinating and of course, anything that has to do with her too!!!



    Mary Help of Christians pray for us!!!

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  9. "The fact that St Hildegard is being made a "Doctor" can be read as a will of the Pope to make the whole Church remember that the devil exists and works... Her writings are specially clear about the existence of the devil."

    Why would the Pope advance a thousand year old personality to highlight the existence of the devil, when Our Lady came to Fatima less than a century ago with an actual vision of Hell?

    I suppose St Hildegard is not perceived by the Pope as a threat to ecumenism, whereas Our Lady of the Rosary definitely is.

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  10. Everything to make our generation feel especially important, that is what beatifications and declarations are for these days. "Don't we live in exciting times?!" It is the same phenomenon with Medjugorje, people are too blunted to see any sort of discrete workings of God and have to be directly involved, things has to entertain them, if you will, always and constantly. Everything is shallow.

    St. Hildegard and St. John of Avila are saints, but they are not DOCTORS OF THE CHURCH. The fact that their writings are "interesting" does not qualify. They are not in any way equal to true giants like St. Augustine or Pope St. Gregory I, and they haven't influenced the Church at all. It cheapens the list, if you allow me to use that kind of language. Yes, I feel the same way about St. Therese of Lisieux despite loving her theology, or St. Therese of Avila - there was a reason she was not declared a Doctor for centuries, all the while being unofficially seen as one (1 Tim 2:12).

    In the future, if this is not the end times, all of this will be seen as embarrassing scars from a sad episode of the Churches history, something that will forever make people feel a sting (hopefully passing) of doubt about the Churches infallibility or Divine guidance.

    As it does for this convert.

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  11. "St. Hildegard and St. John of Avila are saints, but they are not DOCTORS OF THE CHURCH."

    They will be. Wait till October 7...

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  12. Eric,

    The same arguments you've made against Sts. Hildegard and John of Avila could be made against a number of Doctors. St. Ephrem, a deacon, wrote some nice hymns and a couple interesting sermons, but that is it--and he wasn't made a doctor for almost 1600 years. St. Cyril of Jerusalem wasn't made a doctor for over 1500 years, and then it was based on his catechetical lectures (since only fragments of other things exist)--and now some folks accuse them of being Arian forgeries for teaching communion in the hand.

    St. John of Avila taught and advised Sts. Teresa of Avila, John of God, and Francis Boriga--so he must have have taught good doctrine. St. Hildegard's Scivias (essentially a mystical catechism) and hymns have taught the Church just as much as, say, St. Peter Chysologus' homilies or St. Peter Damian's letters.

    Steve,

    Apparitions, as far as I know, can't be made doctor's of the Church. St. Hildegard is an interesting case because she is a woman who wrote about and defended the differences between men and women (and how they represent the active and the passive)--this something lost on many women and men today.

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  13. Marty Jude5:35 PM

    Relucant Pessimist said...
    "There is a full annotated scholarly edition and translation of one of her most important spiritual works, Scivias, in the Classics of Western Spirituality series published by Paulist Press (ISBN 0809131307)."

    Thank you. God bless

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  14. Joseph10:28 PM

    The posts by Eric and Steve are proof that nothing the Church does will please a certain kind of bitter traditionalist. Tradition is not frozen in amber and developments like this are a healthy, regular part of the life of the Church - as they have been for 2000 years. Perhaps your time would be better spent reading the works of the new Doctors instead of making spurious allegations against the Holy Father.

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  15. Eric, why don't you try to read the writings of St. John and St. Hildegard before you decide that the Catholic Church is wrong to honor them?

    Pray that God grant you humility and docility.

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  16. Anonymous12:40 PM

    Eric,

    St. John Damascene, which has been declared Doctor of the Church by Leo XIII, was a lay man when he wrote his treatise against iconoclasts.

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  17. Peterman, saints can be wrong. I know St. Bingen was a horticulturist and herbalist among the litany of her talents, but her admonishments against strawberries is as bizarre as it is wrong (Cf.)

    That said, I am one Traditionalist who is going to welcome this extraordinary woman as a Doctor of the Church!

    Spiritus Sanctus

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  18. Jim Swarthow9:54 PM

    I think what we are seeing is a dissolution of the title "Doctor of the Church". If the trend continues, it will be just as commonplace as confessor or martyr. It will be a title, but all it will refer to is a saint who has some writing which the Church especially hold valuable. It's not a terrible thing, but it is certainly different than the title as originally conceived and held. As for women, I think that is a tired objection. These women are long dead, and do nothing to inspire today's women to bad doctrine or practice. Pious women respect the rules of the Church.

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  19. Note to Eric: Let me put it this way: if you have not even read any of the writings or St. John or St. Hildegard, then you have no right to the opinion you have expressed here. Those who are ignorant of a subject have no business spouting off opinions about it. It seems most unlikely that you are a student of St. John or St. Hildegard, since you arrogate to yourself the authority to judge the Church's decision to recommend that the faithful study and follow their teaching.

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