Monday, September 17, 2012

Feast of Hildegard of Bingen

Hildegard of Bingen:
Abbess, Mystic, Prophet, Author, Musician (1098-1179)

Hildegard's feast has been set in the Roman Martryology for centuries but it is only now that she is being officially declared a saint AND Doctor of the Church. She will be the 35th individual declared Doctor of the Church and the fourth woman after St. Catherine of Siena, St. Teresa of Avila and St. Therese of Lisieux. We were given hints that Pope Benedict XVI  might make some proclamation of Hildegard when he spoke of her frequently in his talks in 2010-11. The early effort to officially canonize her suffered from neglect but she was canonized by acclamation in Europe, especially in Germany. It seems that the Pope will present her name and about 20 others to the upcoming Synod of Bishops in Rome. Also on the list are two Americans, Kateri Tekakwitha and Sister Mary Ann Cope of Molikai.
Research for revision of material for my presentation at Holy Cross Monastery on October 10 has brought a great discovery. A doctoral student at the University of Tennessee, Allison Elledge has written a number of very significant papers on Hildegard. She has made great use of new translations and her own linguistic skills. Her great success is to view Hildegard in her time and place rather than through the lens of our experience. She down plays the feminist but emphasizes the freedom of the prophet and the calls to reform issued by Hildegard in her texts, letters and sermons. There are a number of papers so just Google.
For other words about Hildegard search this blog. Use the search box in the side bar to the right.

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