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Rome Reports

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What can St. Hildegard of Bingen teach us? A look at the life of this future Doctor of the Church

FR. ALFREDO SIMON University of Sant' Anselmo (Rome) "Her visions were not material visions, so to speak.  They were experiences she felt in her inner soul.â? Back in the 12th century, her visions were not always taken seriously.  Eventually she decided to make them public only after getting approval from Pope Eugene III. They dealt with Redemption, God, humanity, the Church and also with Creation. In fact, one of the drawings that reflects this, shows the relationship between the universe and humans. It's an image that's quite similar to that of Leonardo da Vinci. FR. ALFREDO SIMON University of Sant' Anselmo (Rome) "She includes in her image, what she sees and that is man at the center of the universe and nature. It's an image that is very similar to that of Leonardo da Vinci, but she made in centuries before he did.â? A Doctor of the Church is someone whose theological teachings will remain relevant, despite the time period. Father Simon says, St. Hildegard of Bingen reflects the natural desire humans have to connect with God. It's a passion she communicated to the world. FR. ALFREDO SIMON University of Sant' Anselmo (Rome) "She preached throughout cities and towns and even to the clergy. That's something that had never been seen before in the Church. Not by a woman or even a nun.â? During that time period, she was also a spiritual adviser to many high ranking people. She also discovered the healing properties of several plants, since her monastery had a local garden.   FR. ALFREDO SIMON University of Sant' Anselmo (Rome) "She wrote about philosophy and spirituality, but also theater plays, musical pieces and even about natural medicine.â? She died in the year 1179 at the age of 81, but now as Benedict XVI declares her a Doctor of the Church, her spiritual teachings will stay alive for generations to come. KLH MG VM MGZ