Hildegard: A Saint Eight Centuries in the Making

I would consider Hildegard von Bingen a real leader. She changed the face of faith, creatively, persuasively — through art, prayer, song — a woman who inspired other women over the centuries, from a faith that still celebrates, ritually and organizationally, the power of men over women. Thanks for the great blog, and link to her music and poetry!

hildegard & volmar

The visionary abbess Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179) has long been regarded as a saint, with her feast day of September 17, yet she was only officially canonized in May 2012. Why did it take the Vatican over eight centuries to canonize this great polymath, composer, and theologian?

The first attempt to canonize Hildegard began in 1233, but failed as over fifty years had passed since her death and most of the witnesses and beneficiaries of her reported miracles were deceased. Her theological writings were deemed too dense and difficult for subsequent generations to understand and soon fell into obscurity, as did her music. According to Barbara Newman, Hildegard was remembered mainly as an apocalyptic prophet. But in the age of Enlightenment, prophets and mystics went out of fashion. Hildegard was dismissed as a hysteric. Even the authorship of her own work was disputed as pundits began to suggest her books…

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One comment

  1. Thanks for reblogging, Carol! 🙂

    Like

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