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Hildegard of Bingen

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the Trinity

Representation of the Trinity from the Scivias Codex

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This profile of Hildegard is part of
Who's Who in Medieval History

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Hildegard of Bingen was also known as:

Hildegard von Bingen; Sibyl of the Rhine

Hildegard was known for: Her visions, her writings, her musical compositions and poetry

Occupations:

Places of Residence and Influence:

Important Dates:

Born: c. 1098
Died: Sept. 17, 1179

Quotation from Hildegard of Bingen:

"O Holy Wisdom, Soaring Power, encompass us with wings unfurled, and carry us, encircling all, above, below, and through the world."
--O Holy Spirit, Root of Life
More Quotations by Hildegard of Bingen

About Hildegard:

Born to noble parents, Hildegard was educated at the Benedictine cloister of Disibodenberg and became prioress there in 1136. She had experienced visions since a child, but kept them to herself until, at the age of 43, she heard a command to make her visions known to others. She later described how disobeying this command made her ill, so she consulted her confessor, who in turn reported the problem to the archbishop of Mainz. Hildegard was then subjected to the inspection of a committee of theologians, who confirmed the authenticity of her visions.

A monk (Volmar) was assigned to help Hildegard record her visions in writing. The result was Scivias, a collection of 26 visions dealing with topics such as the church, redemption, and the relationship between God and man.

In about 1147, Hildegard left Disibodenberg with several nuns and founded a convent at Rupertsberg. There she continued to record her visions in writing. She also composed music and poetry, wrote saints' lives, wrote treatises on natural history, medicine and herbs, and maintained an extensive correspondence with other monastics that revealed more of her prophecies.

She even created her own language, just for fun.

Hildegard died in her early 80s. Though never formally canonized, she is listed as a saint in the Roman Martyrology for the miracles reported during her lifetime and at her tomb. The recent 900th anniversary of her birth generated renewed interest in her music, much of which has been recorded by groups such as The Anonymous 4, Gothic Voices and Sequentia.

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