Vatican City, Oct 7, 2012 / 09:31 am America/Denver (CNA).
Pope Benedict XVI has named two new Doctors of the Church: the 16th century Spanish priest St. John of Avila and the 12th century German nun St. Hildegard of Bingen.
St. John of Avila was “a profound expert on the sacred scriptures, he was gifted with an ardent missionary spirit,” said the Pope Oct. 7, “he knew how to penetrate in a uniquely profound way the mysteries of the redemption worked by Christ for humanity.”
St. John of Avila was a priest, mystic, preacher and scholar. Pope Benedict announced his intention to name him a Doctor of the Church at World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid last August, much to the delight of Spanish Catholics. Today’s declaration took place in a brief ceremony prior to Mass in St. Peter’s Square in Rome.
The Pope said St. John was “a man of God” who “united constant prayer to apostolic action.”
“He dedicated himself to preaching and to the more frequent practice of the sacraments, concentrating his commitment on improving the formation of candidates for the priesthood, of religious and of lay people, with a view to a fruitful reform of the Church.”