Hildegard of Bingen (d. 1179)
September 17 is Hildegard’s liturgical feast day, when we remember this remarkable woman: abbess, artist, author, composer, mystic, pharmacist, poet, preacher, theologian. Listen to the link below to the recent post from the ABC Classic, including her music and her Play of the Virtues.
Hildegard was born into a noble family, and after her own Christian instruction, she became a Benedictine nun. Her confessor ordered her to write down the visions she had received since the age of three. As a writer and visionary, she saw humans as “living sparks” of God’s love, coming from God as daylight comes from the sun. This original harmony, she wrote, was broken by sin but Christ’s redeeming death and resurrection opened up new possibilities. However, Hildegard (and other mystics), understood the harmony between God’s creation and the place of women and men in it. This was not a view held by many of her contemporaries, stricken by the dualities of good and evil. Hildegard was no stranger to controversy. For example, her monastery was placed under prohibition because she permitted the burial of a young man who had been excommunicated. It has taken the church a long time to fully recognise this holy woman. It was not until 2012 that Hildegard was canonized and named a Doctor of the Church by Pope Benedict XVI. (summary taken from https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-hildegard-of-bingen/ )
Link to ABC Classic: What’s the deal with Hildegard?