September 2, 2011. (Romereports.com)
When Benedict XVI named St. John of Avila a Doctor of the Church during World Youth Day Madrid 2011, the number of Doctors reached 34. The honor is given to those who made contributions to theology, which remain relevant, regardless of time.
But the question is who will be next? Well, according to Italian Vaticanist Sandro Magister, for now there are at least 17 candidates on hold. Eleven of them are male and six are female.
The one with the most progress is the case of French priest St. Louis Mary Grignion de Montfort. He founded the Society of Mary and came up with the phrase “Totus Tuus,” meaning “Totally Yours” used by John Paul II.
French priest, St. Vincent de Paul, who dedicated his life to helping the poor is also on the list.
Among the candidates are Spaniards, like St. Thomas of Villanova as well as St. Ignatius of Loyola, a knight who founded the Jesuits.
Several Italians are also being considered, including St. John Bosco, founder of the Salesian Order. Also Antonino of Florence, who was born in that same city and later became its Archbishop. St. Bernardino of Siena who preached all over Italy in the 15th century and St. Lorenzo Giustiniani. He was a bishop and the first Patriarch of Venice.
It also includes St. Cyril and St. Methodius, the two brothers who became missionaries of Christianity in the Slavic countries. Then, there's St. Gregory of Narek, who was an Armenian monk, poet, philosopher and theologian.
Among the six women are St. Brigit of Sweden, who founded the Bridgettine Order and St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, a French nun who was beatified in 1920.
There's also St. Veronica Giuliani, an Italian nun who was canonized in 1839 and St. Hildegard of Bingen, who is mostly known for her religious visions.
The Patroness of the West Indies, St. Gertrude 'The Great', is also on the list as well as blessed Julian of Norwich who was originally from England.
Pope Paul VI named one Doctor during his pontificate as did John Paul II.
Benedict XVI has named one so far, but it's still unknown if he'll name more in the future.