In May, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI formally declared 12th century Benedictine nun Hildegard of Bingen a canonized saint, with the canonization ceremony scheduled for October. He regards her as one of the great thinker who has helped shape the thought of the Catholic Church.
Today there are many websites and Hildegard groups that celebrate and honor Hildegard’s teachings, philosophy, art, and music. Author Matthew Fox writes in Hildegard of Bingen about this amazing woman and what we can learn from her.
In an era when women were marginalized, Hildegard was an outspoken, controversial figure. Yet so visionary was her insight that she was sought out by kings, popes, abbots, and bishops for advice. A sixteenth century follower of Martin Luther called her “the first Protestant” because of her appeals to reform the church.
As a writer, composer, philosopher, Christian mystic, Benedictine abbess, healer, artist, feminist, and student of science, Hildegard was a pioneer in many fields in her day.
For many centuries after her death Hildegard was ignored or even ridiculed but today is finally being recognized for her immense contribution to so many areas, including our understanding of our spiritual relationship to the earth—a contribution that touches on key issues faced by our planet in the 21st century, particularly with regard to the environment and ecology.