Saint Gregory the Great

Addressing Clergy

Note that priests and their superiors and religious should be treated with the utmost respect. The rules of etiquette that apply when dealing with people of different social standing apply here as well, for example: during introductions, laymen are introduced to priests or their superiors and religious (e.g., "Father, I present Mrs. Doe. Mrs. Doe, this is Father Smith."); clergy and religious should be seated at the right hand of a host (or hostess, as the case may be); at social gatherings, they should be seated in the place of honor, etc.

A note on kneeling:
bulletKneel on the left knee for persons (Kings, Bishops, Archbishops, Patriarchs, Cardinals, Popes, etc.);
bulletKneel on the right knee for Christ in the tabernacle;
bulletKneel on both knees when the Eucharist is exposed.

Latin Catholic

 

Pope

Face-to-face Greeting

Holy Father
Your Holiness
Most Holy Father

Envelope Address

His Holiness, Pope (his name)  (abbreviated: H.H. Name of Pope)

Letter Salutation

Your Holiness
Most Holy Father

Abbreviations

His Holiness: H.H.

Other

Kneel on your left knee and kiss ring as sign of respect for his office. If kneeling would be awkward or impossible, bow at the waist and proceed. Stand when he enters the room and remain standing until he invites you to sit. Men must remove their hats in his presence. Repeat reverential gestures when leaving his presence.

Note: If you'd like a very nice papal souvenir, bring a brand new white zucchetto with you when meeting the Pope. His Holiness will trade his for yours.

 

Cardinal

Face-to-face Greeting

Your Eminence
Your Grace (British)

Envelope Address

His Eminence, John Cardinal Doe, Archbishop of Erewhon
("Cardinal" goes between first and last names)

Letter Salutation

Your Holiness
Most Eminent Cardinal

Abbreviations

His Eminence: H.E.;
Eminence: Emus. (Eminentissimus)

Other

Kneel on your left knee and kiss ring as sign of respect for his office. If kneeling would be awkward or impossible, bow at the waist and proceed (do not do either if the Pope is present). Stand when he enters the room and remain standing until he invites you to sit. Men must remove their hats in his presence. Repeat reverential gestures when leaving his presence.

 

Patriarch

Face-to-face Greeting

Your Beatitude

Envelope Address

His Beatitude

Letter Salutation

Your Beatitude

Other

Stand when he enters the room and remain standing until he invites you to sit. Men must remove their hats in his presence. When it is your own Patriarch, kneel on your left knee and kiss ring as sign of respect for his office. If kneeling would be awkward or impossible, or if he is not your own Patriarch, bow at the waist and kiss his ring (do not do either if the Pope is present). Repeat reverential gestures when leaving his presence.

 

Archbishop/Primate

Face-to-face Greeting

Your Excellency
Your Grace (British)

Envelope Address

The Most Reverend John Doe, Archbishop of Erewhon

Letter Salutation

Your Excellency

Abbreviations

Archieps. (Archiepiscopus), or Arch.

Other

Stand when he enters the room and remain standing until he invites you to sit. Men must remove their hats in his presence. When it is your own Archbishop, kneel on your left knee and kiss ring as sign of respect for his office. If kneeling would be awkward or impossible, or if he is not your own Archbishop, bow at the waist and kiss his ring (do not do either if the Pope is present). Repeat reverential gestures when leaving his presence.

 

Bishop

Face-to-face Greeting

Your Excellency
My Lord Bishop (British)

Envelope Address

The Most Reverend John Doe, Bishop of Erewhon
The Right Reverend John Doe, Bishop of Erewhon (British)

Letter Salutation

Your Excellency

Abbreviations

Ep., Epus. (Episcopus)

Other

Stand when he enters the room and remain standing until he invites you to sit. Men must remove their hats in his presence. When it is your own Bishop, kneel on your left knee and kiss ring as sign of respect for his office. If kneeling would be awkward or impossible, or if he is not your own Bishop, bow at the waist and kiss his ring (do not do either if the Pope is present). Repeat reverential gestures when leaving his presence.

 

Monsignor

Face-to-face Greeting

Monsignor

Envelope Address

The Very Right Reverend Monsignor Doe
The Reverend Monsignor John Doe

Letter Salutation

Dear Monsignor

Abbreviations

Right Reverend Father: RR. (for Reverendissimus)

Other

Stand when he enters the room and remain standing until he invites you to sit. Men must remove their hats in his presence. Repeat reverential gestures when leaving his presence.

 

Priest

Face-to-face Greeting

"Father," "Reverend Father," or "Your Reverence." Though it is common, it's not proper to address a priest using his first name, as in "Hi, Father John!"

Envelope Address

The Reverend Father John Doe

Letter Salutation

Dear Father
Reverend and Dear Father Doe

Abbreviations

Father: F. or Fr.
Fathers, Plural: FF.
Reverend Father: Rev. Fr. (or "R.P." for Reverendus Pater)

Other

Stand when he enters the room and remain standing until he invites you to sit. Men must remove their hats in his presence. If a priest visits your home, it is customary to ask for his blessing; the simple words, "Father, bless" are fine. When blessed by a priest, kneel on both knees until he is finished. It is also customary for many people, especially those in Latin cultures, to kiss the priest's hand to honor the Eucharist, as they alone are able to consecrate (unless the Pope is present).

 

Deacon

Face-to-face Greeting

Deacon

Envelope Address

Reverend Mr Deacon

Letter Salutation

Dear Mr. Deacon

 

Abbot

Face-to-face Greeting

Father Abbot

Envelope Address

Right Reverend John Doe, (Initials of Order)
Ex. Right Reverend Doe, O.S.D.

Abbreviations

Abbot: Ab.

Letter Salutation

Dear Right Reverend Father
Dear Abbot

 

Brother

Face-to-face Greeting

Brother

Envelope Address

Brother John Doe, (Initials of Order)
Ex. Brother Doe, O.S.D.

Abbreviations

Br. or Bro.

Letter Salutation

Dear Brother

 

Mother Superior

Face-to-face Greeting

Reverend Mother

Envelope Address

The Reverend Mother Jane Doe, (Initials of Order)
Ex. The Reverend Mother Jane Doe, O.S.D.

Abbreviations

Rev. Mother

Letter Salutation

Dear Reverend Mother

 

Sister

Face-to-face Greeting

Sister

Envelope Address

Sister Jane Doe, (Initials of Order)
Ex. Sister Jane Doe, O.S.D.

Abbreviations

Sr. (for Soror)

Letter Salutation

Dear Sister
Dear Sister Jane Doe


 

Eastern Catholic

 

Patriarch

Face-to-face Greeting

Your Beatitude

Envelope Address

His Beatitude

Letter Salutation

Your Beatitude

 

Metropolitan

Face-to-face Greeting

Your Beatitude

Envelope Address

His Beatitude the Most Blessed John, Archbishop of Erewhon and Metropolitan X Church in ErewhonII

Letter Salutation

Dear Metropolitan Doe

 

Archbishop

Face-to-face Greeting

Your Eminence

Envelope Address

His Eminence the Most Reverend John, Archbishop of Erewhon

Letter Salutation

Dear Archbishop John
(it is customary to begin letters and phone conversations with "Bless, Your Eminence". It is customary to end letters with "Kissing your right hand" and to end phone conversations with "Bless, Your Eminence.")

 

Bishop

Face-to-face Greeting

Your Grace

Envelope Address

The Right Reverend Bishop John

Letter Salutation

Your Grace
(it is customary to begin letters and phone conversations with "Bless, Your Grace". It is customary to end letters with "Kissing your right hand" and to end phone conversations with "Bless, Your Grace.")

Other

When greeting a Bishop, make a bow by reaching down and touching the floor with your right hand, place your right hand over your left hand, with palms facing upward, and say “Bless, Your Grace.” The Bishop will bless you and and place his right hand in your hands. Kiss his hand.

 

Archpriest

Face-to-face Greeting

Father

Envelope Address

The Very Reverend John Doe

Letter Salutation

Dear Father
(it is customary to begin letters and phone conversations with "Bless, Father". It is customary to end letters with "Kissing your right hand" and to end phone conversations with "Father, bless.")

Other

When greeting an archpriest, make a bow by reaching down and touching the floor with your right hand, place your right hand over your left hand, with palms facing upward, and say “Bless, Father.” The Priest will bless you and and place his right hand in your hands. Kiss his hand.

 

Priest

Face-to-face Greeting

Father (First Name)
Ex. Father John

Envelope Address

Married Priests: The Reverend Father John
Monk Priests: The Reverend Hieromonk

Letter Salutation

Dear Father John
(it is customary to begin letters and phone conversations with "Bless, Father". It is customary to end letters with "Kissing your right hand" and to end phone conversations with "Father, bless.")

Priests' wives

Greek: Presbytera Jane
Russian: Matushka Jane
Serbian: Papadiya Jane
Ukrainian: Panimatushka Jane

Other

When greeting a priest, make a bow by reaching down and touching the floor with your right hand, place your right hand over your left hand, with palms facing upward, and say “Bless, Father.” The Priest will bless you and and place his right hand in your hands. Kiss his hand.

 

Deacon

Face-to-face Greeting

Father
Father Deacon

Envelope Address

Married Deacons: The Reverend Deacon
Monk Deacons: The Reverend Hierodeacon

Letter Salutation

Dear Father Deacon

Deacons' Wives

Greek: Diakonissa Jane
Russian: Matushka Jane
Serbian: Papadiya Jane
Ukrainian: Panimatushka Jane

 

Monastics

Female

Sister Jane
Formally: Nun Jane
Abbess: The Very Reverend Abbess

Male

Father John
Formally: Monk John
Abbot: The Very Reverend Abbot
(Do not refer to them as "Brother" per the Latin tradition unless you are also a Monastic. Do not use family names when addressing monastics)

Abbreviations of Religious Orders

When you see the signature of a priest or religious, you will probably see letters before or after his (or her) name These are the abbreviations of the religious or priestly order to which he is attached, abbreviations of his title, or letters indicating his academic degrees. Below is a little guide to these abbreviations.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M O P R S T V W X

 

 

 

A

 

A.A. Augustinians of the Assumption (Assumptionists)
Ab. Abbot
Abp. Archbishop
A.C. Auditor Camerae (Auditor of the Papal Treasury)
A.J. Apostles of Jesus
A.M. Artium Magister ("Master of Arts")
Ap Sed. Leg. Apostolicae Sedis Legatus ("Legate of the Apostolic See")
Archiep. Archiepiscopus ("Archbishop")
Archid. Archidiaconus ("Archdeacon")
Archiprb. Archipresbyter ("Archpriest")
A.S.C. Adorers of the Blood of Christ
A.S.C.J. Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
A.S.S.P. Angelic Sisters of St. Paul

 

B

 

B. Clerica Regular of St. Paul (Barnabites)
B.A. Order of Basilians of Aleppo of the Melkites
B.D. Bachelor of Divinity
B.F.C.C. Brothers for Christian Community
B.G.S. Little Brothers of the Good Shepherd
B. Se. Baccalaureus Scientiarum ("Bachelor of Sciences")
B.U.J. Baccalaureus Utriusque Juris ("Bachelor of Both Laws" -- i.e., civil and canon)
B.T. Baccalaureus Theologiae ("Bachelor of Theology")
B.V.M. Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

 

C

 

Ca,. Ap. Camera Apostolica ("Apostolic Camera" -- i.e. Papal Treasury)
C.C.D. Confraternity of Christian Doctrine
C.C.R. Congregation of Carmelite Religious
C.C.R.S.A. Congregation of the Clerics Regular of Saint Augustine
C.C.V.I. Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word
C.C.F. Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith
C.D.P. Sisters of Divine Providence
C.F.A. Alexian Brothers
C.F.C. Congregation of Christian Brothers
C.F.I.C. Congregation of Franciscans of the Immaculate Conception
C.F.R. Franciscan Friars of the Renewal
C.F.X. Congregation of Xaverian Brothers
C.I.C.M. Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Scheut Missions)
C.H.M. Congregation of the Humility of Mary
C.J. Josephite Fathers
C.J.D. Canons of Jesus the Lord
C.J.M. Congregation of Jesus and Mary
C.M. Congregation of Priests of the Mission (Vincentians or Lazarists)
C.M.F. Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Cordis Mariae Filius) (Claretians)
C.M.I. Carmelites of Mary Immaculate
C.M.M. Congregation of Marian Hill Missionaries
C.M.R.I. Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen (Congregatio Mariae Reginae Immaculatae)
C.N.D. Congregation of Notre Dame
C.O. Congregation of the Oratory (Oratorians)
C.P. Congregation of the Passion (Passionists)
C.P.M. Congregation of the Fathers of Mercy
C.PP.S. Society of the Precious Blood
CPS Missionary Sisters of the Precious Blood (Missionary Sisters of Mariannhill)
C.R. Clerics Regular (Theatines)
C.R. Congregation of the Resurrection (Resurrectionists)
C.R.I.C. Canons Regular of the Immaculate Conception
C.R.L. Canons Regular of the Lateran
C.R.S. Clerics Regular of Somasca (Somascans)
C.R.S.P. Clerics Regular of St. Paul
C.S. Missionaries of St. Charles (Scalabrinians)
C.S.B. Congregation of St. Bridget
C.S.B. Congregation of St. Basil (Basilians)
C.S.C. Congregation of the Holy Cross (Holy Cross Fathers)
C.S.J. Congregation of St. Joseph
C.S.J.P. Sisters of St John the Baptist
C.S.J.P. Sister of St. Joseph of Peace
C.S.P. Congregation of St. Paul (Paulists)
C.S.R. Sisters of the Holy Redeemer
C.S.S. Stigmatine Fathers and Brothers
C.S.S.F. Congregation of Sisters Saint Felice Cantalicio (Felicians)
C.S.Sp. Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Holy Ghost Fathers or Spiritans)
C.Ss.R. Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (Congregatio Sanctissimi Redemptoris) (Redemptorist)
C.S.V. Clerics of St. Viator (Viatorians)
C.V.I. Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament

 

D

 

D.C. Congregation of Fathers of Christian Doctrine (Doctrinarians)
D.C.L. Doctor Civilis [or Canonicae] Legis ("Doctor of Civil [or Canon] Law")
D.D. Doctor Divinitatis ("Doctor of Divinity" -- i.e. Theology)
D.H.M. Daughters of the Heart of Mary
D.H.S. Daughters of the Holy Spirit
D.M. Daughters of Mary, Mother of the Church
D.M.S.E. Dominican Missionary Sisters of St. Elizabeth
D. Se. Doctor Scientiarum ("Doctor of Sciences")
D.S.M.P. Daughters of Saint Mary of Providence
D.W. Daughters of Wisdom (Filles de la Sagesse) (Montfort Sisters)

 

E

 

Er.Cam. Camaldolese Hermits of the Congregation of Monte Corona

 

F

 

F.C. Brothers of Charity
F.C.J. Faithful Companion of Jesus, Sisters
F.D.C.C. Canossian Daughters of Charity
F.D.N.S.C. Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart
F.D.P. Sons of Divine Providence
F.F.S.C. Franciscan Brothers of the Holy Cross
F.I. Franciscans of the Immaculate
F.I.C. Brothers of Christian Instruction
F.M.A. Daughters of Mary Help of Christian (Salesian Sisters)
F.M.I. Daughters of Mary Immaculate (Marianist Sisters)
F.M.M. Franciscan Missionaries of Mary
F.M.S. Marist Brothers
F.M.S.I. Sons of Mary, Health of the Sick
F.P.O. Franciscans of Primitive Observance
F.S. Sisters of Our Lady of Fatima
F.S.C. Brothers of the Christian Schools (Christian Brothers or Lasallians)
F.S.C.J. Sons of the Sacred Heart (Verona Fathers)
F.S.M. Franciscan Sisters of Mary
F.S.P.A. Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration
F.S.S.J. Franciscan Sisters of St. Joseph
F.S.S.P. Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter (Fraternitas Sacerdotalis Sancti Petri)

 

G

 

G.N.S.H. Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart

H

H.M. Sisters of the Humility of Mary

 

I

 

I.B.V.M. Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Loreto Sisters)
I.C. Institute of Charity (Rosminians)
I.C.M. Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
I.C.R.S.S.. Institute of Christ the King, High Priest
I.H.M. Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
I.M.C. Consolata Missionaries
I.W.B.S. Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament

 

J

 

J.C.D. Juris Canonici Doctor, Juris Civilis Doctor ("Doctor of Canon Law", "Doctor of Civil Law")
J..D. Juris Doctor ("Doctor of Civil Law")
J.SS.R. The Redemptorists Sisters of Saint Joseph (Josephite Sisters)
J.U.D. Juris Utriusque Doctor ("Doctor of Both Laws" -- Civil and Canon)
J.U.L. Juris Utriusque Licentiatus ("Licentiate of Both Laws")

K

K.G.H.S. Knight Grand Cross of the Holy Sepulchre
K.H.S. Knight of the Holy Sepulchre
K.M. Knights of Malta
K.P. Knight of Pius IX
K.S.G. Knight of St. Gregory
K.S.S. Knight of St. Sylvester

 

L

 

L.B.S.F. Little Brothers of St. Francis
L.C. Legionaires of Christ
L.C.M. Sisters of the Little Company of Mary
L.H.D. Litterarum Humaniorum Doctor ("Doctor of Literature")
LL.B. Legum Baccalaureus ("Bachelor of Laws")
LL.D. Legum Doctor ("Doctor of Laws")
LL.M. Legum Magister ("Master of Laws")
L.S.P. Little Sisters of the Poor

M

M.A. Magister Artium ("Master of Arts")
M.Afr. Missionaries of Africa
M.C. Missionaries of Charity
M.C. Consolata Missionaries Sisters
M.C.C.J. Comboni Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus
M.C.D.P. Missionary Catechists of Divine Providence
M.C.M. Cordi Marian Sisters
M.C.S.T. Missionary Catechists of St. Therese of the Child Jesus
M.F.I.C. Missionary Franciscan of the Immaculate Conception
M.F.V.A. Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word
Mgr. Monseigneur, Monsignore ("My Lord")
M.H.S.H. Mission Helpers of the Sacred Heart
M.I. Order of the Ministers of the Sick (Camillians)
M.I.C. Marian Clerics of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
M.J.C. Militia Jesu Christi (Militia Christi, a Dominican Third Order)
M.M.S. Medical Mission Sisters
M.O.P. Missionaries of the Poor
M.S. Missionaries of Our Lady of LaSalette
M.S.A. Missionaries of the Holy Apostles
M.S.B.T. Missionary Servants of the Most Blessed Trinity
M.S.C. Missionaries of the Sacred Heart
M.S.C.S. Scalabrian Missionary Sisiters
M.S.F. Missionaries of the Holy Family
M.S.F.S. Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales (Fransalians)
M.S.S. Missionaries of the Blessed Sacrament
M.SS.C. Missionaries of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary
M.S.S.P. Missionary Society of Saint Paul
M.S.U. Congregation of Monks Studitas of Ukraine
M.T. Missionary Servants of the Most Holy Trinity

O

O.A.R. Order of Augustinian Recollects
O.C. Order of the Carmelites
O.CARM. Carmelites of Ancient Observance
O.Cart. Order of the Carthusians
O.CIST. Cistercians (White Monks)
O.C.D. Order of Discalced Carmelites
O.C.S.O. Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance (Trappists and Trappistines)
O.de.M. Order of Our Lady of Mercy (Mercedarians)
O.F.M. Order of Friars Minor (Franciscans)
O.F.M.Cap. Order of Friars Minor Capuchins (Capuchins)
O.F.M.Conv. Friars Minor Conventual (Conventual Franciscans)
O.F.M.I. Franciscan Friars of Mary Immaculate
O.F.M.Reg. Order of Friars Minor Regular
O.H. Hospitallers Brothers of St. John of God
O.L.M. Order of Lebanese Maronite (Baladites)
O.L.M.E. Our Lady's Missionaries of the Eucharist
O.L.V.M. Victory Noll Sisters
O.M. Minim Fathers
O.M.C. Order of Merciful Christ
O.M.I. Oblates of Mary Immaculate (Missionary Oblates)
O.M.M. Work of Mary Mediatrix (Opus Mariae Mediatricis)
O.M.V. Oblates of the Virgin Mary
O.P. Order of Preachers (Ordo Praedicatorum) (Dominicans)
O.Praem. Canons Regular of Premontré (Norbertines or Premonstratensian or White Canons)
O.R.C. Order of Canons Regular of the Holy Cross
O.R.S.A. Augustinian Recollects
O.S. Oblates of Wisdom
O.S.A. Order of St. Augustine (Augustinians)
O.S.A. Opus Sanctorum Angelorum
O.S.B. Order of St. Benedict
O.S.B.M. Order of St. Basil the Great (Basilian Order of St. Josaphat)
O.S.C. Canons Regular of the Order of the Holy Cross (Crosiers)
O.S.Cam. Order of St. Camillus (Camillian Fathers and Brothers)
O.S.F. Congregation of Servants of Holy Infancy Jesus
O.S.F. Franciscan Brothers or Sisters
O.S.F.N. Confederation of the Oratory of Saint Philip of Neri (Oratorians)
O.S.F.S. Oblates of St. Francis de Sales
O.S.F.S. Order of St. Francis--Secular (3rd Order Franciscan)
O.S.J. Oblates of St. Joseph
O.S.M. Order of the Servants of Mary (Servites)
O.S.P.P.E. Order of St. Paul the First Hermit (Pauline Fathers)
O.Ss.R.. Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (Congregatio Sanctissimi Redemptoris) (Redemptoristines)
O.Ss.S. Order of St. Savior (or Order of Our Savior) (Ordo Ss. Salvatoris) (Brigittines)
O.Ss.T. Order of the Holy Trinity (Trinitarians)
O.Ss.T. Third order secular of the Most Holy Trinity
O.S.T.R. Oblates of St. Therese Reformed
O.S.U. Order of St. Ursula (Ursulines)

 

P

 

P.B.V.M. Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
P.C.C. Poor Clare Collettines
P.C.P.A. Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration
Ph.B. Philosophiae Baccalaureus ("Bachelor of Philosophy")
Ph.D. Philosophiae Doctor ("Doctor of Philosophy")
P.H.J.C. Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ
P.M. Sisters of the Presentation of Mary
Prof. Professus, Professio, Professor ("Professed", "Profession", "Professor")
P.S.S. Society of Priests of Saint Sulpice (Sulpitians)
P.S.S.J. Poor Sisters of St. Joseph-Hermanas

R

R.A. Religious of the Assumption
R.C. Religious of the Cenacle
R.C.J Rogationists of the Sacred Heart (Rogationists)
R.D.C. Religious of Divine Compassion
R.G.S. Religious of the Good Shepherd
R.J.M. Religious of Jesus and Mary
R.M.I. Religious of Mary Immaculate
R.N.D.M. Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions (Religieuses de Notre Dame Missions)
R.P. Reverendus Pater, Reverend Pere ("Reverend Father")
R.S.C. Religious Sisters of Charity
R.S.C.J. Religious of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
R.S.H.M. Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary
R.S.M. Sisters of Mercy
R.V.M. Religious of the Virgin Mary

 

S

 

S.A. Society of the Atonement (Franciscan Sisters/Brothers of the Atonement)
S.A.C. Society of Catholic Apostolate (Pallotines)
S.B.S. Servants of the Blessed Sacrament
S.C. Brothers of the Sacred Heart
S.C. Servants of Charity
S.C. Sisters of the Cross
S.C.C. Sisters of Christian Charity
S.C.H. Sisters of Charity
S.CH. Society of Christ
SCH.P. Clerics Regular of the Pious Schools (Piarist Fathers)
S.C.I. Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart (Dohonians)
S.C.J. Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart (Dehonians)
S.C.S.J.A. Sisters of Charity of St. Joan Antida
S.D.B. Salesians of Don Bosco
S.D.S. Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians)
S.D.V. Society of Divine Vocations (Vocationist Fathers)
S.F. Sons of the Holy Family
S.F.C.C. Sisters for Christian Community
S.F.O. Secular Franciscan Order
S.G. Brothers of Saint Gabriel
S.G.L. Servants of the Gospel of Life
S.H.C.J. Society of the Holy Child Jesus
S.H.F. Sisters of the Holy Family
S.H.Sp. Sisters of the Holy Spirit
S.I.W. Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament
S.J. Society of Jesus (Societatis Iesu) (Jesuits)
S.J.C. Congrégation du Sacré-Coeur (Pères de Timon David)
S.L. Sisters of Loreto
S.M. Society of Mary (Marianists)
S.M. Society of Mary (Marists)
S.M.A. Society of African Missions
S.M.I. Sisters of Mary Immaculate
S.M.M. Missionaries of the Company of Mary (Montfort Fathers)
S.M.O.M. Sovereign Military Order of Malta
S.M.S.M. Marist Missionary Sister
S.N.D. Sisters of Notre Dame
S.N.DdeN. Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur
S.N.J.M. Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary
S.O.Cist. Cistercians of the Common Observance
S.O.L.T. Society of Our Lady of Most Holy Trinity
S.P. Servants of the Holy Paraclete (Piarist Fathers)
S.P. Sisters of Providence
S.P.S. St. Patricks Missionary Society
S.S. Society of St. Sulpice (the Sulpicians)
S.S.A. Sisters of St. Ann
S.S.C. Franciscan Servants of the Sacred Heart
SS.CC. Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary (Picpus Fathers)
S.S.Ch. Sisters of Sainte Chretienne
S.S.C.J. Sister Servants of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
S.S.C.M. Servants of the Holy Heart of Mary
S.S.E. Society of St. Edmund (Edmundites)
S.S.F. Society of St. Francis
S.S.F.A. Sisters of the Holy Family Associate
S.S.I. Society of St. John (Societas Sancti Ioannis)
S.S.J. St. Joseph's Society of the Sacred Heart (Josephites)
S.S.J. Sisters of St. Joseph
S.S.J. Society of St. John
S.S.J. (T.O.S.F) Sisters of St. Joseph of the Third Order of St. Francis
S.S.J.C. Society of Saint John Cantius
S.S.J.V. Society of Saint John Vianney
S.S.M.I. Sister Servants of Mary Immaculate
S.S.M.N. Sisters of St. Mary of Namur
S.S.M.O. Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon
S.S.N.D. School Sisters of Notre Dame
S.S.P. Society of St. Paul, Pauline Fathers and Brothers
S.Sp.S. Holy Spirit Missionary Sisters
S.S.P.V. Society of St. Pius V
S.S.P.X. Society of St. Pius X
S.S.S. Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament (Sacramentines)
S.S.S.F. School Sisters of St. Francis
S.Ss.T. Society of the Most Holy Trinity (Trinitarians)
S.T. Missionary Servants of Most Holy Trinity
S.T.B. Sacrae Theologiae Baccalaureus ("Bachelor of Sacred Theology")
S.T.D. Sacred Theologiae Doctor ("Doctor of Sacred Theology")
S.T.L. Sacrae Theologiae Licentiatus ("Licentiate of Sacred Theology")
S.U. Sisters of St. Ursula
S.V. Sisters of Life (Sorores Vitae)
S.V.D. Society of the Divine Word (Verbites)
S.X. Xaverian Missionary Fathers (Xavierians)

T

T.O.R. Third Order Regular of St. Francis
T.O.S.F. Tertiary of Third Order of St. Francis

 

V

 

V.E. Verbo Encarnado
V.S.C. Vincentian Sisters of Charity

W

W.F. Missionaries of Our Lady of Africa of Algeria, or Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers or Pères Blancs)

Courtesy of Apologia

 

Luca Signorelli. The Doctors of the Church.

Luca Signorelli. The Doctors of the Church. Fresco. 1499-1502. Orvieto Cathedral, San Brizio Chapel, Orvieto, Italy

CATHOLIC TITLES AND THEIR MEANING

Patriarch
The earlier patriarchs are those who lived before the flood, and those who lived between that event and the birth of Abraham. In the cases of some of them, a difficulty is presented in their extraordinary longevity.
 
They are therefore founders and chief men of a clan. Thus of the Semites from Adam to Therah inclusively, there were nineteen patriarchs. With Abraham there begins another list of patriarchs of the Abrahamites. First there are the three great patriarchs, to whom all render special praise: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Our Lord gives these three special honor. Of Jacob sprang twelve sons, and twelve patriarchs, founders of the race of Israel. In Acts, 2, 29 David is called a patriarch, as a token of signal honor, and because he founded, the Davidic dynasty of which is Christ.
Fathers Fathers of the Church are saintly writers of the first centuries of the Christian era, whom the Catholic Church acknowledges as witnesses of her faith.  To be numbered among the Fathers of the Church, four qualities are required of write.  First, you must have lived when the Church was in her youth; hence St. Gregory the Great (d. 604) is generally regarded as the last father in the West, St. John Damascene (d.754), in the East. 

Secondly, he must have lived a saintly life.  Thirdly, his writings must not only be free from heresies, but also excel in the explanation and defense of Catholic doctrine.

Lastly, his writings must bear the seal of the Churches approval thou the majority of the Fathers were bishops, yet this is not true of all of them.  St. Jerome was a simple priest to the end of his days, St. Ephraem a deacon, St. Justin a layman.

All Fathers have not been proclaimed doctors of the Church.  In matters of faith and moral, the consent of the Fathers has always been held in high esteem by the Church.  What they unanimously teach to be of faith, is of faith; what they unanimously reject as heretical, is heretical.

Even the logical conclusions which they unanimously draw from the articles of faith, furnish us with a certain theological argument.  Their authority is due not only to the facts that they were saints or bishops or eminent scholars and lived at a time when Christ's revelation was still fresh in the minds of men, but primarily to the approbation of the Church.  But Christ said of the Apostles, "He that hearth you, hearth me," the Church says in manner of the Fathers.   They are the mouthpiece of the infallible teaching of the Church, and the Church acknowledges them as witnesses of her own faith.  Hence, when anathematizing new heresies or defining new dogmas, the Councils appeal to the consent of the Fathers.  The Council of Ephesus (in 431) declared in its first session that it would define nothing save what had been held unanimously by the ancient and holy Fathers.  This approbation of the Church gives added authority even to the Fathers, considered singly thou in varying degrees period.

A general approbation gives to a saintly writer of the first centuries implies that his doctrine in general is orthodox and worthy of recommendation.  Sometimes, however, a certain Father's doctrine receives a special approbation as being exceptionally solid; such is St. Augustine's fundamental doctrine on grace.

Lastly, the highest degree of ecclesiastical approbation is reached when the Church takes the very doctrine of a Father and embodies it in her own official pronouncements, as in the case of the St. Cyril of Alexandria, whose twelve anathematisms against Nestorius were adopted by the Councils of Ephesus (431).  -C.E.; Agius, Tradition and the Church

 
bullet The Appeal to the Fathers
bullet Classification of Patristic Writings
bullet Apostolic Fathers and the Second Century
bullet Third Century
bullet Fourth Century
bullet Fifth Century
bullet Sixth Century
bullet Characteristics of Patristic Writings
bullet Commentaries
bullet Preachers
bullet Writers
bullet East and West
bullet Theology
bullet Discipline, Liturgy, Ascetics
bullet Historical Materials
bullet Patristic Study

    The word Father is used in the New Testament to mean a teacher of spiritual things, by whose means the soul of man is born again into the likeness of Christ: "For if you have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet not many fathers. For in Christ Jesus, by the gospel, I have begotten you. Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me, as I also am of Christ" (1 Corinthians 4:15, 16; cf. Galatians 4:19). The first teachers of Christianity seem to be collectively spoken of as "the Fathers" (2 Peter 3:4).

    Thus St. Irenaeus defines that a teacher is a father, and a disciple is a son (iv, 41,2), and so says Clement of Alexandria (Strom., I, i, 1). A bishop is emphatically a "father in Christ", both because it was he, in early times, who baptized all his flock, and because he is the chief teacher of his church. But he is also regarded by the early Fathers, such as Hegesippus, Irenaeus, and Tertullian as the recipient of the tradition of his predecessors in the see, and consequently as the witness and representative of the faith of his Church before Catholicity and the world. Hence the expression "the Fathers" comes naturally to be applied to the holy bishops of a preceding age, whether of the last generation or further back, since they are the parents at whose knee the Church of today was taught her belief. It is also applicable in an eminent way to bishops sitting in council, "the Fathers of Nicaea", "the Fathers of Trent". Thus Fathers have learnt from Fathers, and in the last resort from the Apostles, who are sometimes called Fathers in this sense: "They are your Fathers", says St. Leo, of the Princes of the Apostles, speaking to the Romans; St. Hilary of Arles calls them sancti patres; Clement of Alexandria says that his teachers, from Greece, Ionia, Coele-Syria, Egypt, the Orient, Assyria, Palestine, respectively, had handed on to him the tradition of blessed teaching from Peter, and James, and John, and Paul, receiving it "as son from father".

    It follows that, as our own Fathers are the predecessors who have taught us, so the Fathers of the whole Church are especially the earlier teachers, who instructed her in the teaching of the Apostles, during her infancy and first growth. It is difficult to define the first age of the Church, or the age of the Fathers. It is a common habit to stop the study of the early Church at the Council of Chalcedon in 451. "The Fathers" must undoubtedly include, in the West, St. Gregory the Great (d. 604), and in the East, St. John Damascene (d. about 754). It is frequently said that St. Bernard (d. 1153) was the last of the Fathers, and Migne's "Patrologia Latina" extends to Innocent III, halting only on the verge of the thirteenth century, while his "Patrologia Graeca" goes as far as the Council of Florence (1438-9). These limits are evidently too wide, It will be best to consider that the great merit of St. Bernard as a writer lies in his resemblance in style and matter to the greatest among the Fathers, in spite of the difference of period. St. Isidore of Seville (d. 636) and the Venerable Bede (d. 735) are to be classed among the Fathers, but they may be said to have been born out of due time, as St. Theodore the Studite was in the East.

 

The Fathers of the Church

Alexander of Alexandria [SAINT]
  - 
Epistles on the Arian Heresy and the Deposition of Arius

Alexander of Lycopolis
  - 
Of the Manicheans

Ambrose (340-397) [SAINT] [DOCTOR]
  - 
On the Christian Faith (De fide)
  - 
On the Holy Spirit
  - 
On the Mysteries
  - 
On Repentance
  - 
On the Duties of the Clergy
  - 
Concerning Virgins
  - 
Concerning Widows
  - 
On the Death of Satyrus
  - 
Memorial of Symmachus
  - 
Sermon against Auxentius
  - 
Letters

Aphrahat/Aphraates (c. 280-367)
  - 
Demonstrations

Archelaus
  - 
Acts of the Disputation with the Heresiarch Manes

Aristides the Philosopher
  - 
The Apology

Arnobius
  - 
Against the Heathen

Athanasius [SAINT] [DOCTOR]
  - 
Against the Heathen
  - 
On the Incarnation of the Word
  - 
Deposition of Arius
  - 
On Luke 10:22 (Matthew 11:27)
  - 
Circular Letter
  - 
Apologia Contra Arianos
  - 
De Decretis
  - 
De Sententia Dionysii
  - 
Vita S. Antoni (Life of St. Anthony)
  - 
Ad Episcopus Aegypti et Libyae
  - 
Apologia ad Constantium
  - 
Apologia de Fuga
  - 
Historia Arianorum
  - 
Four Discourses Against the Arians
  - 
De Synodis
  - 
Tomus ad Antiochenos
  - 
Ad Afros Epistola Synodica
  - 
Historia Acephala
  - 
Letters

Athenagoras
  - 
A Plea for the Christians
  - 
The Resurrection of the Dead

Augustine of Hippo [SAINT] [DOCTOR]
  - 
Confessions
  - 
Letters
  - 
City of God
  - 
Christian Doctrine
  - 
On the Holy Trinity
  - 
The Enchiridion
  - 
On the Catechising of the Uninstructed
  - 
On Faith and the Creed
  - 
Concerning Faith of Things Not Seen
  - 
On the Profit of Believing
  - 
On the Creed: A Sermon to Catechumens
  - 
On Continence
  - 
On the Good of Marriage
  - 
On Holy Virginity
  - 
On the Good of Widowhood
  - 
On Lying
  - 
To Consentius: Against Lying
  - 
On the Work of Monks
  - 
On Patience
  - 
On Care to be Had For the Dead
  - 
On the Morals of the Catholic Church
  - 
On the Morals of the Manichaeans
  - 
On Two Souls, Against the Manichaeans
  - 
Acts or Disputation Against Fortunatus the Manichaean
  - 
Against the Epistle of Manichaeus Called Fundamental
  - 
Reply to Faustus the Manichaean
  - 
Concerning the Nature of Good, Against the Manichaeans
  - 
On Baptism, Against the Donatists
  - 
Answer to Letters of Petilian, Bishop of Cirta
  - 
Merits and Remission of Sin, and Infant Baptism
  - 
On the Spirit and the Letter
  - 
On Nature and Grace
  - 
On Man's Perfection in Righteousness
  - 
On the Proceedings of Pelagius
  - 
On the Grace of Christ, and on Original Sin
  - 
On Marriage and Concupiscence
  - 
On the Soul and its Origin
  - 
Against Two Letters of the Pelagians
  - 
On Grace and Free Will
  - 
On Rebuke and Grace
  - 
The Predestination of the Saints/Gift of Perseverance
  - 
Our Lord's Sermon on the Mount
  - 
The Harmony of the Gospels
  - 
Sermons on Selected Lessons of the New Testament
  - 
Tractates on the Gospel of John
  - 
Homilies on the First Epistle of John
  - 
Soliloquies
  - 
The Enarrations, or Expositions, on the Psalms

Bardesanes (154-222)
  - 
The Book of the Laws of Various Countries

Barnabas [SAINT]
  - 
Epistle of Barnabas

Basil the Great [SAINT] [DOCTOR]
  - 
De Spiritu Sancto
  - 
Nine Homilies of Hexaemeron
  - 
Letters

Caius
  - 
Fragments

Clement of Alexandria
  - 
Who is the Rich Man That Shall Be Saved?
  - 
Exhortation to the Heathen
  - 
The Instructor
  - 
The Stromata, or Miscellanies
  - 
Fragments

Clement of Rome [SAINT]
  - 
First Epistle
  - 
Second Epistle [SPURIOUS]
  - 
Two Epistles Concerning Virginity [SPURIOUS]
  - 
Recognitions [SPURIOUS]

Commodianus
  - 
Writings

Cyprian of Carthage [SAINT]
  - 
The Life and Passion of Cyprian
  - 
The Epistles of Cyprian
  - 
The Treatises of Cyprian
  - 
The Seventh Council of Carthage
  - 
Treatises Attributed to Cyprian

Cyril of Jerusalem [SAINT] [DOCTOR]
  - 
Catechetical Lectures

Dionysius of Rome [SAINT]
  - 
Against the Sabellians

Dionysius the Great
  - 
Extant Fragments
  - 
Exegetical Fragments

Ephraim the Syrian (306-373) [SAINT] [DOCTOR]
  - 
Nisibene Hymns
  - Miscellaneous Hymns --
On the Nativity of Christ in the Flesh, For the Feast of the Epiphany, and On the Faith ("The Pearl")
  - Homilies --
On Our Lord, On Admonition and Repentance, and On the Sinful Woman

Eusebius of Caesarea (c. 265-c. 340)
  - 
Church History
  - 
Life of Constantine
  - 
Oration of Constantine "to the Assembly of the Saints"
  - 
Oration in Praise of Constantine
  - 
Letter on the Council of Nicaea

Gennadius of Marseilles
  - 
Illustrious Men (Supplement to Jerome)

Gregory the Great, Pope (c. 540-604) [SAINT] [DOCTOR]
  - 
Pastoral Rule
  - 
Register of Letters

Gregory Nazianzen [SAINT] [DOCTOR]
  - 
Orations
  - 
Letters

Gregory of Nyssa [SAINT]
  - 
Against Eunomius
  - 
Answer to Eunomius' Second Book
  - 
On the Holy Spirit (Against the Followers of Macedonius)
  - 
On the Holy Trinity, and of the Godhead of the Holy Spirit (To Eustathius)
  - 
On "Not Three Gods" (To Ablabius)
  - 
On the Faith (To Simplicius)
  - 
On Virginity
  - 
On Infants' Early Deaths
  - 
On Pilgrimages
  - 
On the Making of Man
  - 
On the Soul and the Resurrection
  - 
The Great Catechism
  - 
Funeral Oration on Meletius
  - 
On the Baptism of Christ (Sermon for the Day of Lights)
  - 
Letters

Gregory Thaumaturgus [SAINT]
  - 
A Declaration of Faith
  - 
A Metaphrase of the Book of Ecclesiastes
  - 
Canonical Epistle
  - 
The Oration and Panegyric Addressed to Origen
  - 
A Sectional Confession of Faith
  - 
On the Trinity
  - 
Twelve Topics on the Faith
  - 
On the Subject of the Soul
  - 
Four Homilies
  - 
On All the Saints
  - 
On Matthew 6:22-23

Hermas
  - 
The Pastor (or "The Shepherd")

Hilary of Poitiers [SAINT] [DOCTOR]
  - 
On the Councils, or the Faith of the Easterns
  - 
On the Trinity
  - 
Homilies on the Psalms

Hippolytus [SAINT]
  - 
The Refutation of All Heresies
  - 
The Extant Works and Fragments of Hippolytus: Exegetical
  - 
Expository Treatise Against the Jews
  - 
Against Plato, On the Cause of the Universe
  - 
Against the Heresy of Noetus
  - 
Discourse on the Holy Theophany
  - 
The Antichrist
  - 
Appendix

Ignatius of Antioch [SAINT]
  - 
Epistle to the Ephesians
  - 
Epistle to the Magnesians
  - 
Epistle to the Trallians
  - 
Epistle to the Romans
  - 
Epistle to the Philadelphians
  - 
Epistle to the Smyraeans
  - 
Epistle to Polycarp
  - 
The Martyrdom of Ignatius

Irenaeus of Lyons [SAINT]
  - 
Adversus haereses
  - 
Fragments from the Lost Writings of Irenaeus

Jerome [SAINT] [DOCTOR]
  - 
Letters
  - 
The Perpetual Virginity of Blessed Mary
  - 
To Pammachius Against John of Jerusalem
  - 
The Dialogue Against the Luciferians
  - 
The Life of Malchus, the Captive Monk
  - 
The Life of S. Hilarion
  - 
The Life of Paulus the First Hermit
  - 
Against Jovinianus
  - 
Against Vigilantius
  - 
Against the Pelagians
  - 
Preface to the Chronicle of Eusebius
  - 
De Viris Illustribus (Illustrious Men)
  - 
Apology for himself against the Books of Rufinus

John of Damascus [SAINT] [DOCTOR]
  - 
Exposition of the Faith

John Cassian (c. 360-c. 435)
  - 
Institutes
  - 
Conferences
  - 
On the Incarnation of the Lord (Against Nestorius)

John Chrysostom [SAINT] [DOCTOR]
  - 
Homilies on the Gospel of St. Matthew
  - 
Homilies on Acts
  - 
Homilies on Romans
  - 
Homilies on First Corinthians
  - 
Homilies on Second Corinthians
  - 
Homilies on Ephesians
  - 
Homilies on Philippians
  - 
Homilies on Colossians
  - 
Homilies on First Thessalonians
  - 
Homilies on Second Thessalonians
  - 
Homilies on First Timothy
  - 
Homilies on Second Timothy
  - 
Homilies on Titus
  - 
Homilies on Philemon
  - 
Commentary on Galatians
  - 
Homilies on the Gospel of John
  - 
Homilies on the Epistle to the Hebrews
  - 
Homilies on the Statues
  - 
No One Can Harm the Man Who Does Not Injure Himself
  - 
Two Letters to Theodore After His Fall
  - 
Letter to a Young Widow
  - 
Homily on St. Ignatius
  - 
Homily on St. Babylas
  - 
Homily Concerning "Lowliness of Mind"
  - 
Instructions to Catechumens
  - 
Three Homilies on the Power of Satan
  - 
Homily on the Passage "Father, if it be possible . . ."
  - 
Homily on the Paralytic Lowered Through the Roof
  - 
Homily on the Passage "If your enemy hunger, feed him."
  - 
Homily Against Publishing the Errors of the Brethren
  - 
First Homily on Eutropius
  - 
Second Homily on Eutropius (After His Captivity)
  - 
Four Letters to Olympias
  - 
Letter to Some Priests of Antioch
  - 
Correspondence with Pope Innocent I
  - 
On the Priesthood

Julius Africanus
  - 
Extant Writings

Justin Martyr [SAINT]
  - 
First Apology
  - 
Second Apology
  - 
Dialogue with Trypho
  - 
Hortatory Address to the Greeks
  - 
On the Sole Government of God
  - 
Fragments of the Lost Work on the Resurrection
  - 
Miscellaneous Fragments from Lost Writings
  - 
Martyrdom of Justin, Chariton, and other Roman Martyrs
  - 
Discourse to the Greeks

Lactantius
  - 
The Divine Institutes
  - 
The Epitome of the Divine Institutes
  - 
On the Anger of God
  - 
On the Workmanship of God
  - 
Of the Manner In Which the Persecutors Died
  - 
Fragments of Lactantius
  - 
The Phoenix
  - 
A Poem on the Passion of the Lord

Leo the Great, Pope (c. 395-461) [SAINT] [DOCTOR]
  - 
Sermons
  - 
Letters

Malchion
  - 
Extant Writings

Mar Jacob (452-521)
  - 
Canticle on Edessa
  - 
Homily on Habib the Martyr
  - 
Homily on Guria and Shamuna

Mathetes
  - 
Epistle to Diognetus

Methodius
  - 
The Banquet of the Ten Virgins
  - 
Concerning Free Will
  - 
From the Discourse on the Resurrection
  - 
Fragments
  - 
Oration Concerning Simeon and Anna
  - 
Oration on the Psalms
  - 
Three Fragments from the Homily on the Cross and Passion of Christ
  - 
Some Other Fragments

Minucius Felix
  - 
Octavius

Moses of Chorene (c. 400-c. 490)
  - 
History of Armenia

Novatian
  - 
Treatise Concerning the Trinity
  - 
On the Jewish Meats

Origen
  - 
Origen de Principiis
  - 
Africanus to Origen
  - 
Origen to Africanus
  - 
Origen to Gregory
  - 
Origen Against Celsus
  - 
Letter of Origen to Gregory
  - 
Commentary on the Gospel of John
  - 
Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew

Pamphilus [SAINT]
  - 
Extant Writings

Papias [SAINT]
  - 
Fragments

Peter of Alexandria [SAINT]
  - 
The Genuine Acts of Peter
  - 
The Canonical Epistle
  - 
Fragments

Polycarp [SAINT]
  - 
Epistle to the Philippians
  - 
The Martyrdom of Polycarp

Rufinus
  - 
Apology
  - 
Commentary on the Apostles' Creed
  - 
Prefaces

Socrates Scholasticus (c. 379-c. 450)
  - 
Ecclesiastical History

Sozomen (c. 375-c. 447)
  - 
Ecclesiastical History

Sulpitius Severus (c. 363-c. 420)
  - 
On the Life of St. Martin
  - Letters --
Genuine and Dubious
  - 
Dialogues
  - 
Sacred History

Tatian
  - 
Address to the Greeks
  - 
Fragments
  - 
The Diatessaron

Tertullian
  - 
The Apology
  - 
On Idolatry
  - 
De Spectaculis (The Shows)
  - 
De Corona (The Chaplet)
  - 
To Scapula
  - 
Ad Nationes
  - 
(A Fragment)
  - 
An Answer to the Jews
  - 
The Soul's Testimony
  - 
A Treatise on the Soul
  - 
The Prescription Against Heretics
  - 
Against Marcion
  - 
Against Hermogenes
  - 
Against the Valentinians
  - 
On the Flesh of Christ
  - 
On the Resurrection of the Flesh
  - 
Against Praxeas
  - 
Scorpiace
  - 
Appendix (Against All Heresies)
  - 
On Repentance
  - 
On Baptism
  - 
On Prayer
  - 
Ad Martyras
  - 
The Martyrdom of Perpetua and Felicity (Sometimes attributed to Tertullian)
  - 
Of Patience
  - 
On the Pallium
  - 
On the Apparel of Women
  - 
On the Veiling of Virgins
  - 
To His Wife
  - 
On Exhortation to Chastity
  - 
On Monogamy
  - 
On Modesty
  - 
On Fasting
  - 
De Fuga in Persecutione

Theodoret
  - 
Counter-Statements to Cyril's 12 Anathemas against Nestorius
  - 
Ecclesiastical History
  - 
Dialogues ("Eranistes" or "Polymorphus")
  - 
Demonstrations by Syllogism
  - 
Letters

Theodotus
  - 
Excerpts

Theophilus
  - 
Theophilus to Autolycus

Venantius
  - 
Poem on Easter

Victorinus [SAINT]
  - 
On the Creation of the World
  - 
Commentary on the Apocalypse of the Blessed John

Vincent of Lérins (d. c. 450) [SAINT]
  - 
Commonitory for the Antiquity and Universality of the Catholic Faith

 

063_ThomasDivinelyInspired.jpg - 80085 Bytes

St. Thomas Aquinas surrounded by the Doctors of the Church.

Doctors

Doctors of the Church, writers who received this title from the Church, owing to their eminence in theology and holiness.  They are extolled by the Church not primarily as witnesses of her faith (as are the Fathers), but on account of their brilliant exposition and skillful defense of Catholic doctrine.  Unlike the titles of Doctor subtilis, or, Doctor resolutissimus, Doctor irrefragabilis, which enthusiastic scholars of the Middle Ages bestowed on renowned professors, this title is official.  The first to confer it was Pope Boniface VIII, who in the thirteenth century declared four Fathers the great Doctors of the Latin Church: St. Ambrose, St. Augustine, St. Jerome, St. Gregory the Great.  The next to be declared to be a doctor was St. Thomas Aquinas in 1567.  Since then more than 20 renown theologians, all of them canonized saints, have received the same seal of approval, either from some pope or from the Sacred Congregation of Rites; the latest are St. Peter Canisius and St. John of the Cross, who received this honor from Pope Pius XI.  Owing to their title, the Doctors of the Church enjoy a special authority in the Church, thou not all in the same degree or in the same manner.  As a rule, the range and degree of their authority are set forth in the degree by which the title is deferred.  Thus St. Alphonsus of Liguori is recommended to theologians as master of moral theology, St. Jerome as biblical scholar, St. Bonaventure as eminent and scholastic theology.  Still, their writings are not thereby pronounced infallible throughout, but they are proposed as safe guides, so that their doctrines are to be preferred unless solid reasons favor the opposite. - C.E.; Agius, Tradition and the Church