St. Hildegard of Bingen

Artist: 
Julie Lonneman

Artist's Narrative:
Born in 1098, Hildegard was the tenth child of a well-to-do German family. From a young age, she experienced visions connected with illness (perhaps migraines), and in 1106 her parents sent her to a Benedictine monastery, calling Hildegard the family's "tithe" to God. There Hildegard availed herself of the opportunities to learn, and was eventually elected abbess.

Hildegard hid her early visions, but after becoming abbess she began to share them through her writings. She also corresponded with many persons, from peasants to kings, who wanted her advice and prayers.

In addition to records of her visions, Hildegard also wrote plays, poetry, and music. Many of her hymns and song cycles are still performed today. She even wrote on medicine and nature.

Though she was honored locally as a saint, she was not canonized by the Roman Catholic Church until 2012. She was also named a Doctor of the Church, the fourth woman to be so honored.

Her feast day is September 17.

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