Francis Martin OSA: Christus Medicus – Christ the Doctor

Ever conscious of the spiritual healing and restoration he himself experienced in Christ’s loving embrace and tender care, Augustine used the Latin phrase Christus Medicus, which translated as ”Christ the doctor” or “Christ the healer.”

Father Thomas Martin OSA In conducting a Province retreat to his fellow Augustinians, said, “Medicina (medicine) emerges as such a dominant theme in Augustine’s writing—and why, among all of his Christological titles one of the most provocative and interesting is that of Christus Medicus.”

Fr Martin focussed on this phrase as he shared insights into the Rule of Augustine and the Augustinian ideal of community life. He concluded his presentation by saying, “It seems clear to me that Augustine expects any community that bears his name to a place where Christus Medicus feels very much at home.”

To read the presentation as a PDF file, click here.

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Thomas Francis Martin was born on December 28, 1943 in Chicago, Illinois. He was received into the Augustinian Novitiate on September 3, 1961. He professed simple (temporary) vows in the Order of St Augustine on September 4, 1962 and solemn (permanent) vows on September 4, 1965. He was ordained a priest on December 20, 1969.  Between 1966 and 1994 he taught and studied for five postgraduate degrees in theology and religious education, concluding with a PhD in Patristics (early Christian theology) in 1994.

Father Martin was called to the international Augustinian headquarters in Rome in 1984. There he was Sub-Secretary of the Order and Editor of the magazine OSA international. He returned in 1990 to St. John Stone Friary, Chicago, again serving as Director of Theologians. In 1995, Fr Martin was assigned to St Augustine Friary, Villanova, Pennsylvania, to teach at Villanova University. He was named Founding Director of the Augustinian Institute at Villanova University in 2005. While continuing as Director of the Institute, he was assigned to reside at St Thomas of Villanova Friary, Rosemont, Pennsylvania, in 2006. Villanova University promoted him in 2008 to the status of full professor.

He is the author of Our Restless Heart: The Augustinian Tradition (Orbis, 2003) and numerous articles, especially on themes related to St Augustine and other Fathers of the Church. He died on February 20, 2009.

(This article was originally published in the deleted website of APAC.)

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