Of the 35 doctors of the Church, only four are women: St. Hildegard of Bingen, St. Catherine of Siena, St.Therese of Lisieux and St. Teresa of Avila. Here are videos to share with your families to help celebrate these great female saints.
by Erin Broestl
The wisdom revealed in their writings and great influence of these women doctors of the Church became public in a way they most likely could not have imagined. May these bold saints encourage us all to become the best versions of ourselves, to give our lives completely to Jesus, and to celebrate love in large and small ways.
St. Hildegard of Bingen
St. Hildegard was a Benedictine nun in medieval Germany. She is known for her visions, her writings and her melismatic songs (several notes are sung to one syllable, like plainsong or blues). She also was considered a polymath, which means a person with great knowledge in several disciplines. She studied herbal lore, music and theology, and became a doctor of the Church for her writing.
“What can St. Hildegard of Bingen Teach Us?” by Rome Reports
Father Alfredo Simon of the Pontifical University of St. Anselm in Rome describes St. Hildegard’s life, and draws parallels with her work and that of Leonardo Da Vinci.
“St. Hildegard of Bingen” by Nadine Askandar
A young woman draws the life of St. Hildegard in this brief video. Almost all of her pronunciations are wrong, but it is worth a little chuckle. German and Latin fans may want to watch it with the sound off or ears plugged. Giggles aside, maybe it will inspire one of your children to give creating a similar video on his or her favorite saint a try!
“Pope Benedict XVI talks about St. Hildegard” by prolifeformankind.com
This is a transcript of Pope Benedict’s talk on St. Hildegard, with words only and no video.
“Hildegard von Bingen – Music and Visions”
In contrast to a transcript without sound posted in the previous video, this one shows only a few images with the music of St. Hildegard sung beautifully in the background.
St. Catherine of Siena
Born into a very large family in Siena, Italy, St. Catherine was a reformer at heart and a devoted helper of the poor. Truly a bold, unique saint, this Dominican nun advised popes to shed avarice, materialism and bad administrators who were like “weeds” in the garden of the Church. St. Catherine was mystical and practical, with a vision of being spiritually married to Christ, and possessing the invisible stigmata. Her practicality led her to convince Pope Gregory XI to unite the Church and return to his rightful place in Rome.
“St. Catherine of Siena HD” by Catholic.org
This is a lovely overview of the saint’s life from birth to death.
“Discovering our Saints: St. Catherine of Siena” by CCTNtv
Another good overview, this video deals with St. Catherine trying to convince Pope Gregory XI to return to Rome from Avignon, France.
“Did You Know? St. Catherine of Siena” by Saint Benedictine Press
Did you know St. Catherine was one of 26 children and one day cut off her hair? This short video will share these interesting facts (and many others your kids will find interesting) in this well-done video about the life of St. Catherine.
“St. Catherine of Siena Lecture: Dr. Perry Cahall” by Ohio Dominican University
For older viewers, in this video Cahall describes the features of the New Evangelization, and uses St. Catherine’s life and works to show us how to further encourage people in our time.
St. Therese was called the Little Flower for her simple, yet beautiful approach to life as a Carmelite nun in France. She joined the convent at just 15 years of age, and died at 24. She strongly desired to be a missionary, but instead followed several sisters into the cloister at Carmel and lived a life of hard work and simplicity. Her eldest sister was the head of the convent, and asked Therese to write her memoirs which became “The Story of a Soul.” She is one of the most popular saints because she promised to “spend her heaven doing good on Earth.” Many miracles are attributed to her intercession.
“St. Therese of Lisieux, the Little Flower HD” by Catholic.org
This is an overview of the young girl who became a saint, hidden in the obscurity of the Carmelite convent.
“The Life and Lessons of St. Therese of Lisieux” by Wordonfire.org
A six-minute interview with Bishop Robert Barron, who details the huge influence of Therese’s “little way” of pleasing Jesus by doing small acts of love.
“St. Therese of Lisieux – The Little Flower of Jesus” by Jesus Wonder Animations
Here is a short cartoon on the early life of St. Therese as she prayed for the conversion of the criminal, Pranzini. He kissed a crucifix three times before he died, and St. Therese called him her first spiritual child. This is a very moving and emotional video, good for children around ages 7-10.
St. Teresa of Avila
St. Teresa was the foundress of the Discalced Carmelites Nuns and an ardent reformer of the convents in Spain. She practiced self-mortification and had visions of Jesus. She admired the martyrs of the Church, and was driven to convert people and found new convents. St. Teresa was considered a troublemaker by most of the religious men and women of her time, for preaching above her station. Her periods of inability to pray, and her ecstasies led her to write about prayer. She wrote “The Way of Perfection,” “The Interior Castle” and many other books, poems and letters.
“St. Teresa of Avila – Stories of Saints for Kids” by Christian Kids TV
Best for children ages 3-8, this video explains the life of St. Teresa of Avila as it relates to a young boy having a hard time focusing while praying.
“St. Teresa of Avila HD” by Catholic.org
Another short video on the life of St. Teresa, it includes the full dialogue underneath. This one gives us a little more information on her early life and her passion to be a martyr as a child. It also provides more information about her death and her incorrupt body.
“St. Teresa of Avila” by ApostleshipofPrayer.org
This brief video for older children contains one of St. Teresa’s poems, which is an exhortation to be Jesus’ body in the world, his hands and feet as we love one another.
The women doctors of the Church wrote much that is still relevant and applicable to our lives. Their letters, poems and journals provide deep insight from God and are well worth reading. The “feminine genius” that St. Pope John Paul II spoke of is evident in these strong, faithful women. The amazing thing is that they can still be our friends today as we pray with them and share their stories with our children.