Written by jkgoeres@cs.com

In

WHAT IS A DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH?

WHAT

A title the Catholic Church gives to individuals whose writings have special authority, particularly in theology or doctrine.

Three requisites apply to qualify as Doctor:

  1. Exemplary holiness in life
  2. Importance, orthodoxy of teachings
  3. Church recognition.

This honor is given rarely, and only after canonization. The original Doctors of the Western Church who were named in 1298:

  1. Saint Ambrose
  2. Saint Augustine
  3. Saint Jerome
  4. Pope Gregory I

The four Doctors of the Eastern Church were recognized in 1568 by Pope St. Pius V:

  1. John Chrysostom (Doctor of the Eucharist)
  2. Basil the Great
  3. Gregory of Nazianzus
  4. Athanasius of Alexandria (Doctor of Orthodoxy) .

HOW DO I TELL THEM APART IN ARTWORK?

HOW

They all look the same

3 are Bishops, 1 is a Pope
Start by looking at HATS, STAFFS & CAPES

WHO’S WHO

Who

ST AMBROSE

1

  • HEADGEAR: Mitre (bishop hat)
  • CLOAK:  not decorated with detail like St Augustine
  • CROZIER: curved staff of a bishop
  • A flail with 3 cords
  • beehive
  • Carry a book or studying

339-397
Born in Trier, Germany from a noble Roman family. He was bishop of Milan (ordained only 1 wk after being baptized) and a powerful eloquent preacher. Ambrose authored many of the Church’s important writings and hymns and his literary works have been acclaimed as masterpieces of “Latin eloquence”. He strongly defended the independence of the church in its relation to the state and viewed the church rising above the ruins of the Roman Empire. He tried to put an end to Arianism in Milan  (a group that spoke out against the trinity). 

ST JEROME

2

  • HEADGEAR: Red cardinal’s hat and cape
  • A lion
  • A stone in his hand
  • A maquette of a church
  • painted as church doctor, monk or hermit skull

347-397
Born near present day Ljubiana into a noble Christian family, he was best known for making the Bible accessible to the masses. He studied rhetoric and was fluent in Latin, Greek and Hebrew. In the 4th century the Roman Empire was starting to use Latin instead of Greek as the spoken language.  The bible, written in Greek, was becoming inaccessible to the common people. The Pope (Damasus) needed to produce a Latin text of the Bible. Jerome was chosen by the Pope to  revise an ancient translation of the Bible from Greek texts into Latin, and spent 3 years in Rome until the  Pope died. He then moved to Bethlehem where he remained until his death in 420.  There, spent 34 years translating the  Old Testament into Latin from Hebrew (and sometimes comparing to the Greek versions). Together, these translations became known as the Vulgate, the official Bible of the Roman church.

ST AUGUSTINE

3

  •  HEADGEAR: Mitre (bishop hat)
  • CLOAK: often with very detailed decorative trim, with scenes from the life of Jesus 
  • CROZIER: curved staff of a bishop
  • A heart: flaming,pierced 
  • studying, carrying book or other scholarly objects

354-430
Born in present day Algeria to a Christian mother and pagan father.  He did not start out saintly and was not baptized until he was 31 in Milan by Bishop Ambrose. At abt 40 years old he became Bishop of Hippo where he worked endlessly on preaching and converting. The doctrine of original sin was largely formulated by him, as well as theology on grace and virtue. He penned numerous works, someone counted over 5 million words. These writings layed the foundation for much of medieval and modern Christian thought. helped to shape the practice of critically interpreting the bible to discover its intended meaning. 

POPE GREGORY THE GREAT

4

  • HEADGEAR: Papal Tiara-triple layer crown
  • Papal staff: topped with cross or triple cross
  • Pope’s pallium: looks kind of like a loose white tie
  • Dove at his ear
  • Chalice
  • Pen and book

540-604
Gregory came from an influential Roman family, 2 of his ancestors had been popes and his father was a senator. He studied law and became governor of Rome. After five years in office he resigned, founded six monasteries on his Sicilian estate, and became a Benedictine monk in his own home at Rome. He was the first Pope to have been a monk. He is known for instituting the first recorded large-scale mission from Rome, to convert the then largely pagan Anglo-Saxons to Christianity.    He made reforms of the liturgy and liturgical music, wrote many songs and hymns which were possibly associated with Gregorian chant. He was a prolific writer whose works were influential in the medieval period and included over 800 letters, accounts of the lives of saints and other religious works. He provided guidance through turbulant times in in Rome, including floods, starvation, the plague, and combated invading armies of Germanic Lombards and territorial advancements from the Byzantine emperor. All of this was accomplished in despite poor health. 

You Try to Tell Them Apart

YOU

WHO ARE WE

?
click to find out

 

WHO ARE WE

?
click to find out

 

WHO ARE WE

?
click to find out

DID THEY KNOW EACH OTHER?

AMBROSE & AUGUSTINE: AMBROSE  WAS 15 YEARS OLDER

In 384 Augustine moved to Milan, after his talents caught the eye of a Roman official who recommended him for the position of public orator for the imperial city of Milan. Here he heard the preaching of Bishop Ambrose and so admired him that he began to reconsider his own doubts about Christianity. It was to be Ambrose at the Easter vigil at the cathedral at Milan who later led Augustine through the waters of baptism (baptism, along with his two good friends and his son, Adeodatus). The old baptistry found under the church in Milan a few decades ago is thought to have been the one in use in the time of Ambrose.  

JEROME & AUGUSTINE

Augustine was an admirer of Jerome,  and in 394 wrote him a letter saying how much he admired Jerome, but then he told Jerome that he saw no value in Jerome’s project of translating the Scriptures from the Hebrew and that his time would be better spent elsewhere. The letter did not get delivered, the contents became public knowledge, and this is how Jerome heard rumors Augustine had written a “book against him”. They had a fiery correspondence over the next 11 years (11 letters) which finally ended in 405. It wasn’t until 411 that they recommened their correspondence as they were in accord on condemning Pelagius and Pelagianism.

Jerome’s final letter to Augustine was written in 419,

 

AMBROSE & JEROME

Not totally clear, it appears that they started out neutral but by 385 Jeromes references to Ambrose had become hostile. Not sure why, something to do with Ambrose failure to support jerome from being expuled from rome in 385or ambrose opposition to Arianism. 

Quote from Rufinius’ Apology:

“First, he (Jerome) calls him (Ambrose) a crow and says that he is black all over; then he calls him a jackdaw who decks himself in other birds’ showy feathers; and then he rends him with his foul abuse.”

 

ST GREGORY

He was born 2 centuries after the other fathers and did not know them personally.

WHY ARE THERE EASTERN AND WESTERN DOCTORS?

WHY


In 284 C.E., the Emperor Diocletian decided the Empire was too large to be managed in one piece. He split the Roman Empire into two halves: the Western Roman Empire and the Eastern Roman Empire. Diocletian became ruler of the Eastern half, since it had greater wealth

Constantine was a general who took over the Western Empire in a civil war. He then conquered the Eastern Empire and became the ruler of both.

He moved the capital from Rome to Byzantium (in present-day Turkey). He renamed it “Constantinople

Christianity developed differently in the Eastern Empire and the Western Empire. In the West, the Pope (the leader of the Church in Rome) was the absolute leader of the religion and the government. In the East, there was an Emperor who chose the leader of the church.

When the Pope tried to get rid of the leader of the eastern church in 1054 C.E., the East stopped following the Pope. They split into two separate churches: the Roman Catholic Church (based in Rome) and the Eastern Orthodox Church (based in Constantinople).

 

Related Articles

Related

practice

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Sed arcu massa, dapibus sit amet elit auctor, pharetra pharetra metus. Aliquam dolor odio, faucibus id volutpat a, ornare id diam. Nulla tempus porttitor mi id vehicula. Curabitur at nunc in arcu consectetur...

read more

Venetian Scuole

WHAT IS A CONFRATERNITY OR SCUOLA? The Republic of Venice lasted for almost one thousand years and its stability was due to its geographical position in the middle of a protective lagoon,  its effective political system, its social structure and the stabilizing...

read more
Follow Us
Join

Subscribe For Updates & Offers

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Aenean scelerisque suscipit condimentum. Vestibulum in scelerisque eros. Fusce sed massa vel sem commodo.