This calendar of saints is drawn from several denominations, sects, and traditions. Although it will no longer be updated daily, the index on the right will guide visitors to a saint celebrated on any day they choose. Additional saints will be added as they present themselves to Major.

Monday, September 17, 2012

September 17 -- Feast of Saint Hildegard of Bingen

Exceptional Mystic -- Sybil of the Rhine 

They like to show her visions as she dictated her books.
If anyone ever challenged Sister Hildegard's qualifying miracles (saints must have miracles, you know), they need only consider the accomplishments in her life.  For a woman in the twelfth century to have written books on theology, botany, and medicine without being accused of witchcraft is pretty friggin' miraculous.  Add to that liturgical songs and poems.  Women writing liturgical works?  And how about the first morality play (certainly the oldest extant anyway)? 

But wait -- there's more.  She did this while serving as the abbess to her Benedictine community and serving as counselor to popes, bishops, and princes.  Among her correspondents were Emperor Frederick Barbarossa and Saint Bernard of Clairvaux.  And did I mention four preaching tours?

Although celebrated as a saint in Germany, she was stalled at beatification and never formally canonized.  Blessed Pope John Paul II referred to her as a saint, and his successor Benedict XVI has extended equivalent canonization to her.  That is to say, he proclaimed her cult appropriate for the universal Church.  The word is, she will be proclaimed a Doctor of the Church on October 7, 2012, which would be a cool Mass to attend.  If so, she'll bring the number of lady doctors (so to speak) up to four, approximately 11% of the RC doctors. 

1 comment:

  1. On Sunday, October 7, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI proclaimed Hildegard von Bingen and John of Avila to be Doctors of the Church. The total list (for the Roman Church) is thirty-five saints long. As noted elsewhere, this inclusive list for the one holy catholic and apostolic church is somewhat longer.