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born 1098

Saint Hildegard of Bingen is a 12th century woman who disrupts our thinking about apron-clad females from the middle ages. 

Hildegard refused to let society dictate her intellectual and spiritual passions. She penned groundbreaking works on natural health, believing that we came from the earth, therefore we must use the earth to heal. She composed soaring hymns and rich chants that are still performed + recorded today. She made many contributions to religion, the arts and science. 

In 2012, Pope Benedict XVI named Hildegard a Doctor of the Church ~ a Catholic holy title held by only 4 women.

bio bits

her quotes

all quotes by Hildegard of Bingen (9)

"When I was forty-two years and seven months old, Heaven was opened and a fiery light of exceeding brilliance came and permeated my whole brain, and inflamed my whole heart and my whole breast, not like a burning but like a warming flame, as the sun warms anything its rays touch."

Scivias | 1151

"Humanity, take a good look at yourself. Inside, you’ve got heaven and earth, and all of creation. You’re a world—everything is hidden in you."

Causes and Cures {quoted in Hildegard of Bingen: A Spiritual Reader} | 1150s

"The soul reveals her capabilities according to the capabilities of the body, so that in childhood she brings forth simplicity, in youth strength, and in fullness of age . . . she brings forth her greatest strength in wisdom."

Scivias | 1151

"A musical performance softens hard hearts, leads in the humor of reconciliation, and summons the Holy Spirit."

Scivias | 1151

"I, a mere female and fragile vessel, speak these things not from me but from a serene Light."

1152-1156 | 1152

"The person who can never be steadfast in behavior is quite formless and ever flooding like the sea."

Liber Divinorum Operum | 1174

"Those who draw off wisdom from God in the lifting up of their soul and account themselves as nothing become the columns of heaven."

to her secretary, the Belgian monk Guibert of Gembloux | 1175

"Some people who see visions blow their own horns with them, and pride ruins their lives. Others see visions but understand that their wisdom comes from God. I'm one of these. I'm human, and I know it."

to the Belgian monk Guibert {cited in "?Religion & Liberty," Hildegard von Bingen"} | 1175

"The soul is symphonic."

to the prelates of Mainz {quoted in The Personal Correspondence of Hildegard of Bingen} | 1178
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curated with care by Meghan Miller Brawley & Shelagh Bolger {april 2014 ~ updated june 2015}