Publication Date



Eugene, Bernard, Jutta, Disabod, Mysticism


Hildegard of Bingen is one of history’s remarkable people. Born into German nobility in 1098, Hildegard began having mystical visions at an early age and saw God as light. Hildegard chose a spiritual life and entered a religious cloister at fifteen. There she was educated, studying many subjects, including Latin and music. In 1136 Hildegard became the prioress. The confines of the cloister did not stop Hildegard from becoming a major theological force. She wrote books on theology and medicine, authored plays, and composed music. Theologically, Hildegard contributed to the development of the theological construction of the concept of purgatory. She was a healer, providing medical treatment, particularly to women. Her music is still played and recorded today. Hildegard was also a prolific writer of letters. She engaged in exceptional correspondence with political leaders, priests, bishops, archbishops and even Pope Eugene III. Unlike other women who rarely spoke publicly, Hildegard was a popular preacher who actively denounced clerical corruption. This caused contentious relationships with corrupt clerics. As a mystic, Hildegard received visions. In her visions she obtained divine inspiration. She also used her visions against her opponents. She died in 1179. After her death, many efforts were made to confirm her as a Saint. In 2012, to remove any doubt whether Hildegard was a Saint, Pope Benedict XVI formally declared that Hildegard of Bingen is a canonized saint.