4. Aug, 2017

Women Saints

Doctors of the Church

Hildegard receives a vision; with secretary Volmar and confidante Richardis. Fine Art Images / Heritage Images / Getty Images

Until 1970, no woman had been named a doctor in the church, but since then four additions to the list have been women: Saints Teresa of Ávila (St. Teresa of Jesus) and Catherine of Siena by Pope Paul VIThérèse de Lisieux[2] (St. Therese of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face), "the Little Flower" by Pope John Paul II; and Hildegard of Bingen by Benedict XVI. Saints Teresa and Therese were both Discalced Carmelites, St. Catherine was a lay Dominican, and Hildegard was a Benedictine.

Women Saints - Doctors of the Church

"Doctor of the Church" is a title given to those whose writings are deemed to be in accord with the doctrine of the church and which the church believes can be used as teachings. "Doctor" in this sense is related etymologically to the word "doctrine."


 (1347 - 1380) was a Dominican tertiary. She is credited with persuading the Pope to return to Rome from Avignon.

Lived: March 25, 1347 - April 29, 1380

Canonized: 1461 (Pope Pius II)

Feast Day: April 29 (from 1628 - 1960, April 30)


One of two women declared to be Doctors of the Church in 1970, Teresa of Avila (1515 - 1582) was the founder of the order known as the Discalced Carmelites. Her writings are credited with inspiring church reforms.

Lived: March 28, 1515 - October 4, 1582

Beatified: April 24, 1614 (Pope Paul V)

Canonized: March 12, 1622 (Pope Gregory XV)

Feast Day: October 15


A third woman was added as Doctor of the Church in 1997: Saint Térèse of Lisieux. Térèse, like Teresa of Avila, was a Carmelite nun.

Lourdes is the largest pilgrimage site in France, and the Basilica of Lisieux is second largest.

Lived: January 2, 1873 - September 30, 1897

Beatified: April 29, 1923 (Pope Pius XI)

Canonized: May 17, 1925 (Pope Pius XI)

Feast Day: October 3 (from 1927 - 1969, October 3)


In October, 2012, Pope Benedict named German saint Hildegard of Bingen, a Benedictine abbess and mystic, a "Renaissance woman" long before the Renaissance, as the fourth woman among the Doctors of the Church.

Lived: 1098 - September 17, 1179

Canonized: May 10, 2012 (Pope Benedict XVI)

Feast Day: September 17

by Jone Johnson Lewis https://www.thoughtco.com/women-saints-doctors-of-the-church-3530251