Recently Pope Benedict XVI formally announced the selection of two new Doctors of the Church.
The Spirit, who “has spoken through the prophets”, with the gifts of wisdom and knowledge continues to inspire women and men who engage in the pursuit of truth, offering original ways of understanding and of delving into the mystery of God, of man and of the world. In this context, I am delighted to announce that on 7 October, at the start of the Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, I will proclaim St John of Avila and St Hildegard of Bingen Doctors of the universal Church. These two great witnesses of the faith lived in two very different historical periods and cultural environments. Hildegard was a Benedictine nun in the heart of medieval Germany, an authentic teacher of theology and a profound scholar of natural science and music. John, a diocesan priest in the years of the Spanish Renaissance, shared in the travail of the cultural and religious renewal of the Church and of all society at the dawn of modern times. But the sanctity of their life and the profundity of their doctrine render them perennially relevant: the grace of the Holy Spirit, in fact, projected them into the experience of penetrating understanding of divine revelation and intelligent dialogue with that world which constitutes the eternal horizon of the life and action of the Church.
When I originally found out about this announcement in regards to St. John of Avila some months back it sparked my interest in this saint and I wondered if any of his writing were online? One book containing many of his letters was available on archive.org, but like many public domain scanned-in books the formatting was messed up. So I have cleaned it up and am making available as an ebook. This book of letters of spiritual direction are quite good, not exactly surprising for someone picked out as a Doctor of the Church.