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François Gérard, “Teresa of Ávila” (detail), 1827 (photo: Public Domain / Public Domain)

Timeless wisdom from the first female doctor of the Church

By Father Roger Landry, EWTN News, October 13, 2021

Father Roger LandryWe are fast approaching the 400th anniversary of the most impressive canonization in the history of the Church, which took place March 12, 1622.

Pope Gregory XV had the honors. Canonizations in this period of history were relatively rare events. Even though the Council of Trent taught that the example and intercession of the saints was a great help to the faithful, it took 25 years after the close of the Council for anyone to be canonized. In fact, between 1492 and 1587, only three people had been canonized, one at a time. Pope Gregory changed that, canonizing at once four great saints of the Counter-Reformation, who were alive over the span of his own life, who not only symbolized what the Church is about but played major roles in helping her turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel.

The four were St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits; his former college roommate and, after St. Paul, the greatest missionary of all time, St. Francis Xavier; the re-evangelizer of Rome in the 16th century and founder of the Oratorians, St. Philip Neri; and the great reformer of religious life and foundress of the Discalced Carmelites, St. Teresa of Ávila. …

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