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The life of St. Hildegard of Bingen: Writer, composer and future Doctor of the Church

2012-07-29

FR. ALFREDO SIMON
University of Sant Anselmo (Rome)

"She didn't just focus on theology and spirituality. She also composed music and wrote quite a bit about medicine. She also wrote theater plays and poetry.”

A Doctor of the Church is someone whose theological teachings remain relevant, regardless of time.

Even though she was a medieval writer, composer and philosopher, perhaps she's mostly known for her religious visions. They dealt with creation, redemption, God, humanity and the Church. In fact, before going public, a theological committee, approved the authenticity of her visions.

FR. ALFREDO SIMON
University of Sant' Anselmo (Rome)

"When it was approved by Pope Eugene III, through the mediation of St. Bernard, she was given the green light to share those visions she had kept inside.”

She was born in Germany in the year 1098 and studied in a Benedictine monastery before becoming a nun at the age of 15.  In 2010, the Pope talked about her life and impact in two general audiences.

BENEDICT XVI
(September 1, 2010)

"Hildegard used her spiritual gifts for the renewal of the Church and the spread of authentic Christian living.”

In time, her writings were published and her visions were represented in drawings. Many people were impressed since she dealt with issues that were ahead of her time, especially for a woman living in the 12th century.  In her spare time, she even started a new language.

FR. ALFREDO SIMON
University of Sant' Anselmo (Rome)

"She created a language she named 'Ignota' which she started on her own.”

She had a strong character and wouldn't shy away from confronting people, even if they had a high ranking in the Church. She exchanged letters with the Popes, emperors and kings, which was unthinkable for a woman of that time period.

She also built a larger monastery for her fellow nuns. She died in the year 1179 at the age of 81, but her teachings remain alive.  


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