A feather on the breath of God: Saint Hildegard of Bingen

Silas Henderson OSB

Silas Henderson OSB offers a reflection on Saint Hildegard of Bingen, the 'Sibyl of the Rhine,' who will be declared a Doctor of the Church on October 7, 2012. The author is a Benedictine monk of Saint Meinrad Archabbey, Indiana, USA.

On Pentecost Sunday 2012, Pope Benedict XVI announced his intention to declare Saint John of Avila, a 16th century Spanish priest, and Saint Hildegard of Bingen, the beloved ?Sibyl of the Rhine?, as Doctors of the Church on October 7. Only days before, the Pope had officially recognized Abbess Hildegard?s sanctity, adding her liturgical commemoration to the Church?s Universal Calendar on 17 September, a date she shares with another of the Church?s Doctors, the Jesuit Robert Bellarmine.

Hildegard is honoured as one of the most dynamic leaders of her age, a ?remarkable woman in an age of remarkable men.? She has also been claimed as a patroness, a sister, and a mother, by various groups, including musicians, radical feminists, devotees of ?New Age? mysticism, and, of course, her Benedictine brothers and sisters.

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