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Wisdom of the Saints

Wisdom of the Saints

The Graduate Program at the Avila Institute provides an opportunity for you to receive a Graduate-Level education in spiritual theology from renowned professors online at your convenience. The program can be taken over the course of two to four years. The following post reflects on how the wisdom of the saints becomes a reality in the Graduate Program for Spiritual Theology at the Avila Institute.

“The gift of wisdom gives to our souls this power to experience divine things, to taste them in the depths of our being, and, by that pleasure and experience, to judge all things.” – Servant of God Luis Martinez

This quote from Servant of God Archbishop Luis Martinez in True Devotion to the Holy Spirit highlights the role of wisdom as a gift of the Holy Spirit to believers. If wisdom is the power to experience, taste, and know divine things, then the saints are our guide to growing in wisdom. The saints were intensely sanctified here on earth, and as a result their souls overflowed with the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. If we want to grow in wisdom, we must look to the saints.

We are all called to be saints, and the wisdom of the Holy Spirit sets the faithful apart as a called and chosen people. In Jesus' final prayer to the Father before he is arrested in the for post on wisdom of the saintsGospel of John, he prays explicitly for the ones who the Father entrusted to Him, His disciples. He prays, “I do not pray for the world but for the ones you have given me, because they are yours (John 17:9).” This prayer of Jesus reveals to us that as His disciples we hold a special place in His heart. We have a special calling, but we have to learn everyday how to be disciples, and how to take up our crosses and follow Him.

Fortunately, God has raised up people throughout the centuries to show us what living a life of holiness is like. These people are the saints, and they wrote down their wisdom for us to learn from. The wisdom of the saints is not like the wisdom of the world. It is the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. This is the kind of wisdom that we study at the Avila Institute.

This summer the Avila Institute Graduate Students have the opportunity to take a course on the wisdom of the saints titled “Wisdom of the Saints from Hildegard of Bingen to John of the Cross”.

Wisdom of the Saints from Hildegard of Bingen to John of the Cross:

  • Taught by Dr. Ben Nguyen, this course provides an overview of the spiritual doctrine of Saint Hildegard, Saint Thomas Aquinas, Saint Catherine of Siena, Saint John of Avila, Saint Teresa of Avila, and Saint John of the Cross. During the first five hundred years into the second millennium of Christianity, a host of saints rediscovered the power of mental prayer, devotion to Christ and the need for ongoing conversion summarized by Saint Benedict in terms of quaerere Deum, lectio divina, conversatio morum and habitare secum.
  • Days: Tuesdays, 7:00-9:00 PM Eastern
    • Jun 6, 13, 20, 27, Jul 11, 18, 25, Aug 1, 8 (no class on Jul 4)

This course is one of many courses offered in the Graduate Program that investigate the wisdom of the saints. Graduates of the Program will receive a Certificate of Graduate Studies in Spiritual Theology. If you are discerning whether or not you should apply for the program, contact Candace at with any questions about the program. You can go ahead and apply by visiting our application page. Apply by May 25th to join for the Summer Quarter.

To see a full list of upcoming courses and more information about the program visit our webpage for the graduate program.


Art: Abrazo de Santa Teresa de Jesús, Santa Catalina de Siena y Santa Clara (Embrace [or Hug] of Saint Teresa of Jesus [St. Teresa of Avila], St. Catherine of Siena and St. Clare [of Assisi], Anonymous Castillian Painter, second half of the 17th century, PD-US author's life plus 70 years or less, Wikimedia Commons. Photo of Dr. Ben Nguyen, used with permission.

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About Dylan Jedlovec

Dylan Jedlovec is an Operations Administrative Assistant at the Avila Foundation, parent organization of, the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, and Divine Intimacy Radio. Finishing up an undergraduate degree in Marketing and Economics from Samford University, Dylan is first and foremost a disciple of Christ and a son of the Church. Dylan has a heart for evangelization on college campuses, and has worked closely with FOCUS as a student missionary and served as President of the Catholic Student Association at Samford. As a member of the University Fellows Program at Samford, Dylan developed a love for the writings of the Saints, particularly the Doctors of the Church, through his studies of the core texts of the Western Intellectual Tradition. This love for the rich intellectual tradition of the faith brought him to the Avila Foundation, where he seeks to further the kingdom through feeding Christ’s sheep. In his free time, Dylan enjoys watching baseball, reading, hiking, running, and lifting weights (although you can’t really tell).

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