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St. Hildegard - Benedictine Abbess, Mystic and Poet

  • Broadcast in Religion
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Rebroadcast of the long-running radio program, "The Ave Maria Hour," a presentation of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement. www.AtonementFriars.org

St. Hildegard, also called Hildegard of Bingen, was born in 1098 in Bockelheim, Germany to noble parents. She was educated at the Benedictine cloister of Disibodenberg by the holy woman, Blessed Jutta. She received her habit at age 15 and began a religious life. Hildegard succeeded Jutta as prioress in 1136. Having experienced visions since she was a child, at age 43 she consulted her confessor, who in turn reported the matter to the Archbishop of Mainz. A committee of theologians subsequently confirmed the authenticity of Hildegard’s visions, and a monk was appointed to help her record them in writing. The finished work, Scivias (1141–52), consists of 26 visions that are prophetic and apocalyptic in form and in their treatment of such topics as the church, the relationship between God and humanity, and redemption. About 1147 Hildegard left Disibodenberg with several nuns to found a new convent at Rupertsberg, where she continued to exercise the gift of prophecy and to record her visions in writing.

St. Hildegard died on September 17, 1179 at the age of 81. Although she was long considered a saint, Hildegard was not formally canonized until May 10, 2012 by Pope Benedict XVI.  Later that year, Benedict proclaimed St. Hildegard a Doctor of the Church, one of only four women to have been so named.