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4 Women Doctors of the Church and the one big lesson they taught


Shutterstock (x3) | Wolfgang Sauber/CC BY-SA 4.0

Theresa Civantos Barber - published on 07/23/21

These holy women show how to live in dark and troubled times without losing hope in God.
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For hundreds of years, the Church has singled out certain saints who were exemplary teachers of theological or spiritual topics. These holy men and women were given the official title of “Doctor,” which stems from the Latin root word “docere,” meaning “to teach.”

The list of Doctors of the Church includes four women. Each of them was declared a Doctor within the past 60 years, although three of them lived hundreds of years ago. Perhaps they were declared Doctors so recently because now is when their message is most needed. 

A new book, Women of Hope: Doctors of the Church, takes a close look at four amazing women and the dark and troubled times in which they lived. The book is a rallying cry for Catholics to follow the example of these holy women who held onto faith and hope, even when things looked bleak.

Terry Polakovic, author of Women of Hope, is the co-founder of Endow (Educating on the Nature and Dignity of Women), and served as the president of the organization from 2003-2015. She has a deep understanding of these women saints, and she uses her decades of experience to bring their stories to life in her new book.

It’s an understatement to say that things have been hard for the Church and the world in recent decades. “No doubt about it, these have been tough years,” Polakovic writes. “You would certainly be forgiven if you were disillusioned with the Church.”

But that feeling of discouragement is exactly why the message of her book, and of these four great women saints, is so needed. She shows how, throughout the most troubled and turbulent times in Catholic history, God has raised up great saints as beacons of hope. 

Here are 5 lessons that these great saints can teach today, as explained in this heartening new book. Their examples can inspire modern Christians to choose joy, hope, and the light of Christ.

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