Hildegard of Bingen
Feast Day: September 17
Canonized: May 10, 2012
Beatified: August 26, 1326
Hildegard of Bingen is believed to have been born in 1098 in Germany. At a young age Hildegard had a very holy teacher named Jutta. From her teacher, she learned to love God and to pray. In those days, it was very natural for Hildegard to join with her teacher, Jutta, and other holy women and become a nun when she was 15 years old. Together these women prayed and worked together in their Benedictine monastery.
Hildegard was very close to God and prayed every day. Everything she saw reminded her of God’s goodness. She loved to tell others of the beauty of nature and the importance of prayer. She was so close to God, that sometimes she had visions or dreams of Jesus and the saints. Later in her life Hildegard wrote down her visions so that everyone could know how wonderful God is.
She was so talented that she wrote many books and poems. She wrote plays and composed songs on a stringed instrument called a psaltery. Everything that Hildegard wrote told of God’s glory. Many people read and believed Hildegard’s writing. Her music and poetry became famous. She accomplished what she always wanted to do: She spread God’s Word.
Hildegard died in 1179. People today still read her poems and stories. Her plays and music are still performed. Because she wrote so many books and such lovely music, we can come to know more about God’s goodness through her work.
Both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI referred to her at different times as “Saint,” but the formal process for canonization was not believed to have ever been completed for her. So in May of 2012, Pope Benedict XVI had her formally designated with the title of “Saint.” She is often called a “mystic” of the Church, meaning someone who has levels of perception and spiritual experiences beyond that of the normal person.
In 2012, Pope Benedict announced that the church has inscribed Hildegard’s name in the catalogue of saints. On October 7, he formally named her a Doctor of the Church.
Connecting to Be My Disciples®
Grade 6, chapter 24