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Saint Therese of Lisieux: Doctor of the Universal Church

Overview

On World Mission Sunday, October 19, 1997, Pope John Paul II declared St. Therese of Lisieux a "Doctor of the Universal Church." This event marked not only the culmination of an unprecedented series of honors bestowed on "the greatest saint of modern times," as St. Pius X called her, but it also represented a watershed in the evolution of the understanding of this ecclesiastical title bestowed on only thirty-three saints in the history of the Church. Certainly, at the time of her death in 1897, no one would have ...
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Overview

On World Mission Sunday, October 19, 1997, Pope John Paul II declared St. Therese of Lisieux a "Doctor of the Universal Church." This event marked not only the culmination of an unprecedented series of honors bestowed on "the greatest saint of modern times," as St. Pius X called her, but it also represented a watershed in the evolution of the understanding of this ecclesiastical title bestowed on only thirty-three saints in the history of the Church. Certainly, at the time of her death in 1897, no one would have guessed that this 24-year-old Carmelite nun, with such a limited education and imperfect literary style, who never wrote a treatise or published an article and who died virtually unknown in an obscure French Carmel, would one day come to be ranked alongside such eminent personalities as St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas as a doctor ecclesiae. Her selection did not come about in a vacuum, nor did it happen easily. The story behind the title and her reception of it as documented in these pages makes for truly fascinating and thought-provoking reading.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780818909238
  • Publisher: Alba House
  • Publication date: 5/28/2005
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,285,508
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface xi
1. The Evolution of the Title "Doctor of the Church" and Its Significance 1
Biblical Background 5
Patristic and Medieval Developments 9
Post-Reformation Developments 13
The Modern Period 15
Criteria for the Doctorate 18
Reflections 26
2. How Therese Martin Became a "Doctor of the Church" 33
Sources 33
The Life of Therese Martin (1873-1897) 36
The Early Years 36
Life in Carmel 43
The Publication of Therese's Writings 58
On the Way to the Doctorate 72
Reflections 83
3. The Positio and the Opinions of the Theological Consultors 87
Preliminaries: The "Presentation du Rapporteur" and Supplex Libellus 89
The Informatio 93
Part I of the Informatio: The Data ("Le Donne") 93
Part II of the Informatio: St. Therese's Doctrine 95
Part III of the Informatio: Therese's Influence and Relevance 105
Part IV of the Informatio: Conclusion 109
Postulatory Letters and Bibliography 112
The Votes of the Theological Experts 113
Vote of the First Theologian for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith 114
Vote of the Second Theologian for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith 116
Vote of the Third Theologian for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith 118
Vote of the Fourth Theologian for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith 119
Vote of the Fifth Theologian for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith 120
Vote of the First Theologian for the Congregation for the Causes of Saints 120
Vote of the Second Theologian for the Congregation for the Causes of Saints 123
CDF Consultation and Votation of 5 May 1997 125
Votes 1 to 4 129
Votes 5 to 9 130
Votes 10 to 16 131
Votes 17 to 19 132
The Special Congress ("Congresso Peculiare") of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints on 29 May 1997 133
Votes 1 to 4 135
Votes 5 to 7 136
Votes 8 and 9 137
Votes 10 to 12 138
The Final Steps 139
Reflections 140
4. The Declaration of Therese as Doctor of the Universal Church and Its Potential Theological Significance 145
Papal Statements on Therese's Doctorate 146
Divini Amoris Scientia 147
The Homily During the Mass Proclaiming Therese a Doctor of the Church 157
The Doctoral Mass and Related Papal Statements 160
Implications of the Doctoral Ceremonies and Pronouncements 166
The "Reception" of Therese's Doctorate: Some Objections and Replies 173
Therese's "Theological" Mission and Method 185
Therese in Relation to Particular Areas and Topics of Theology 196
Merciful Love and the "Little Way" 197
Therese, Christ, and the Trinity 200
Therese and Sacramental Theology 204
Therese, Mary, and the Saints 208
Therese, Grace, and Eschatology 209
Other Areas 211
Reflections 212
Conclusion 215
Bibliography 225
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