Hildegard von Bingen

Born 16 September 1098. Died 17 September 1179.
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Hildegard: Ave, generosa

Howard Goodall and Suzy Klein discuss Ave, generosa by Hildegard of Bingen.

Featured in BBC Music Clips

Biography

Saint Hildegard of Bingen, O.S.B. (German: Hildegard von Bingen; Latin: Hildegardis Bingensis) (1098 – 17 September 1179), also known as Saint Hildegard, and Sibyl of the Rhine, was a German writer, composer, philosopher, Christian mystic, Benedictine abbess, visionary, and polymath. Elected a magistra by her fellow nuns in 1136, she founded the monasteries of Rupertsberg in 1150 and Eibingen in 1165. One of her works as a composer, the Ordo Virtutum, is an early example of liturgical drama and arguably the oldest surviving morality play.

She wrote theological, botanical and medicinal texts, as well as letters, liturgical songs, and poems, while supervising miniature illuminations in the Rupertsberg manuscript of her first work, Scivias.

Although the history of her formal recognition as a saint is complicated, she has been recognized as a saint by parts of the Roman Catholic Church for centuries. On 7 October 2012, Pope Benedict XVI named her a Doctor of the Church.

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