The 33 Doctors of the Church are listed in alphabetical order.
What is a Doctor of the Church? This is a very special title accorded by the Church to certain saints. This title indicates that the writings and preachings of such a person are useful to Christians "in any age of the Church." Such men and women are also particularly known for the depth of understanding and the orthodoxy of their theological teachings. There are a certain number of "ecclesiastical writers" whose writings and preaching have an application limited to and directed at problems and opportunities their particular age. Such writings and preachings can be difficult to apply to other sets of conditions. Such are never named Doctors. There is also a division of Doctors of the East and the West. All three women Doctors are of the West. They are St. Catherine of Sienna and St. Teresa of Avila, and most recently, St. Therese - the Little Flower. As an additional note, the term Doctor does not signify everything contained in their writings are formally "de Fide" ("of the Faith").
For more details, see the Doctors of the Church site.
|ST. ALBERT THE GREAT
Patron of natural scientists; called doctor universalis, doctor expertus.
|ST. ALPHONSUS LIGUORI
Patron of confessors and moralists. Founder of his order.
One of the four traditional Doctors of the Latin Church. Opponent of Arianism in the West. Bishop of Milan.
Archbishop of Canterbury. Father of Scholasticism.
|ST. ANTHONY OF PADUA
Bishop of Alexandria. Dominant opponent of Arianism. Father of Orthodoxy.
Bishop of Hippo. One of the four traditional Doctors of the Latin Church. Doctor of Grace.
|ST. BASIL THE GREAT
Father of monasticism in the East.
|ST. BEDE THE VENERABLE
Benedictine priest Father of English history.
|ST. BERNARD OF CLAIRVAUX
Called Mellifluous Doctor because of his eloquence.
Franciscan theologian. Seraphic Doctor.
|ST. CATHERINE OF SIENA
Mystic. Second woman Doctor.
|ST. CYRIL OF ALEXANDRIA
Patriarch. Opponent of Nestorianism. Made key contributions to Christology.
|ST. CYRIL OF JERUSALEM
Bishop and opponent of Arianism in the East.
|ST. EPHRAEM THE SYRIAN
Biblical exegete and ecclesiastical writer. Called Harp of the Holy Spirit.
|ST. FRANCIS DE SALES
Bishop, leader in Counter- Reformation. Patron of Catholic writers and the Catholic press.
|ST. GREGORY I THE
Pope. Fourth and last of the traditional Doctors of the Latin Church. Defended papal supremacy and worked for clerical and monastic reform.
|ST. GREGORY OF NAZIANZUS
Called the Christian Demosthenes because of his eloquence and, in the Eastern Church, The Theologian.
|ST. HILARY OF POITIERS
Bishop. Called The Athanasius of the West.
|ST. ISIDORE OF SEVILLE
Archbishop, theologian, historian. Regarded as the most learned man of his time.
One of the four traditional Doctors of the Latin Church. Father of biblical science.
|ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM
Bishop of Constantinople. Patron of preachers and called Golden-Mouthed because of his eloquence.
|ST. JOHN DAMASCENE
Greek theologian. Called Golden Speaker because of his eloquence.
|ST. JOHN OF THE CROSS
Joint founder of the Discalced Carmelites along with St. Theresa of Avila. Doctor of Mystical Theology
|ST. LAWRENCE OF BRINDISI
Vigorous preacher of strong influence in the post-Reformation period.
|ST. LEO I THE GREAT
Pope. Wrote against Nestorian and Monophysite heresies and errors of Manichaeism and Pelagianism.
|ST. PETER CANISIUS
Jesuit theologian. Leader in the Counter-Reformation.
|ST. PETER CHRYSOLOGUS
Bishop of Ravenna. Called Golden-Worded.
|ST. PETER DAMIAN
Ecclesiastical and clerical reformer.
|ST. ROBERT BELLARMINE
Defended doctrine under attack during and after the Reformation. Wrote two catechisms.
|ST. TERESA OF AVILA
Spanish nun and mystic. First woman Doctor. Joint founder of the Discalced Carmelites along with St. John of the Cross.
|ST. THERESE OF LISIEUX
French Carmelite nun. Known as The Little Flower, her autobiographical "Story of a Soul" has become a spiritual classic, inspiring millions to follow her "Little Way" of holiness. Already Patroness of the Missions, she was proclaimed the third woman Doctor of the Church by Pope John Paul II on October 19th, 1997.
|ST. THOMAS AQUINAS
Philosopher and theologian. Called Angelic Doctor. Patron of Catholic schools and education.