Pope bestows rare honour on Spanish saint

20th August 2011, Comments 12 comments

Pope Benedict XVI said Saturday he will bestow an extremely rare honour on a Spanish saint, Saint John of Avila, by proclaiming him a doctor of the Church.

Only 33 doctors of the Church -- reserved for figures of eminent doctrine and remarkable holiness -- have been proclaimed since 1295, and the last was in 1997.

"I will shortly declare Saint John of Avila a doctor of the universal Church," the 84-year-old pontiff said in Madrid's Almudena Cathedral, prompting thunderous applause from 6,000 young people preparing to be priests.

"I would hope that the word and the example of this outstanding pastor will enlighten all priests and those who look forward to the day of their priestly ordination," the pope said after celebrating mass.

The decision will be formalised within months by the pope issuing an apostolic letter.

Saint John of Avila, son of converted Jews, lived from 1500 to 1569.

Born in Almovodar del Campo near Toledo in central Spain, he studied law in Salamanca before being ordained a priest. He was a mystic and powerful preacher of the Counter-Reformation who drew huge crowds with his condemnations of the pursuit of riches.

He was canonized in 1970.

Benedict said his decision followed requests by Madrid's archbishop, Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, and others bishops and archbishops around the world.

The last doctor of the Church to be proclaimed was a French saint, 19th century Carmelite Theresa of Lisieux, announced by John Paul II during World Youth Day celebrations in Paris in 1997.

© 2011 AFP

12 Comments To This Article

  • Jaye posted:

    on 24th August 2011, 11:47:31 - Reply

    It was an infestation of idiots who live with their heads in the sand. The church relies on sheep believing in illusions, a few of whom are right here in sight.
  • Clement posted:

    on 21st August 2011, 17:54:36 - Reply

    James, no wonder your off your rocker, your website you hau can't even quote Scripture. In your website you have the verse all wrong. You quote Leviticus 18:22 Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."
    This verse if from John 8:7. Levitivus 18:22 says: "Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind, because it is an abomination. "

  • John posted:

    on 21st August 2011, 11:34:24 - Reply

    Jack, I oppose the idea of Separation on two grounds:
    1. It's not anywhere in the Consitution, but Justice Blackmun "found" it there to suit his own needs.
    2. Various Church/State proponents have used the excuse of Separation to impose the de facto religion of Secularism. Their prejudice has not more justification than their religious counterparts.

    I will not tolerate being told to keep my mouth shut to satisfy the intolerance of these hypocrites.
  • rk posted:

    on 21st August 2011, 04:01:54 - Reply

    @James again.
    hey James,
    Question about YOUR website.
    what do the first 2 lines mean?

    "Those who support the arts are always rewarded in life."
    "If you would like to donate we are now taking donations, for 1 month, through Kickstarter.com"

  • rk posted:

    on 21st August 2011, 03:57:03 - Reply

    hey, James, went to your website http://www.postmodernrevelation.com.
    Seems you're looking for donations? ahhh shoulda known.
    "Be a good person and give back the money, do not be the hoarder", James. Take your own advice.
    Check out James website, folks. Under the guise of exposing the truth, he is telling us lies. Anything for a buck, eh James.

  • Jason posted:

    on 20th August 2011, 22:55:34 - Reply

    Separation of Church and state a good thing? Says who? A bunch of atheists in the media and that's enough for you?

    And a persons atheism has a whole lot to do with the way somebody sees the world and governs. You are naive.
  • Jack posted:

    on 20th August 2011, 21:37:22 - Reply

    @James- lets see how much money goes into the economy after having millions of people there.

    @Jason- Separation of Church and state is a good thing. I doubt being an athestic has anything to do with the economy.

    Praise be God. St. John, pray for us
  • Robert posted:

    on 20th August 2011, 21:13:52 - Reply

    WYD injected billions of Euros into the Spanish economy, employing thousands of Spainish workers in hotels, restaurants, and travel and tourism related industries, and generated tax Euros in all those industries. The money will recirculate throughout the Spanish economy as those recipients spend their money, generating more tax revenue. The Spanish people should be thrilled to have the revenue and the related jobs it creates.

    Your backward thinking is what is destroying the Spanish economy, not tourism.
  • Brian posted:

    on 20th August 2011, 21:12:52 - Reply

    James, if Obama were coming to Spain he would cost much more than WYD, would you then be complaining about the cost? I think not, you would probably be out on the streets waving the stars and stipes. Anyway, commentators say that WYD will pay for itself with the money being spent by the millions that have come. I suggest, James, that the real issue you have about Pope Benedict has nothing to do with money, but rather about the teachings of the Catholic Church, its moral teachings in particular. Ever hear the word "tolerance"? Your liberals friends talk about it often enough though rarely practice it.
  • Josee posted:

    on 20th August 2011, 21:12:13 - Reply

    Dear James you are wrong, the money comes from the Vatican, private donations and sponsors and the pilgrims themselves. I think that having WYD in Spain will help their economy not deplete it!
  • Jason posted:

    on 20th August 2011, 19:38:45 - Reply

    Your country's economy is in the toilet because you elected socialist atheists like yourself to run it into the ground.

    Take your ignorant bigotry elsewhere.
  • James posted:

    on 20th August 2011, 19:13:51 - Reply

    Bestowing rare honors and forgiving women who have had abortions does nothing to erase the fact that you are charging this country, and its people, about 80 million dollars to show up to WYD.

    Be a good person and give back the money, do not be the hoarder that we all know the Church is.

    The painting "The Pope wears gold" shows both the hoarding attrocity as well as other, more severe attrocities. http://www.postmodernrevelation.com