Today, Holy Mother Church adds a fourth female Doctor of the Church, St. Hildegard of Bingen. She joins the ranks of Sts. Catherine of Siena, Teresa of Avila and Thérèse of Lisieux.
St. Hildegard was a 12th century Benedictine nun who was an exemplary model of what Blessed John Paul II called the “feminine genius.” Her intelligence, learning was renowned throughout Europe. St. Hildegard founded several monasteries and was a contemporary of St. Bernard of Clairvaux. She was also known for her talents as a composer, writer, poet, mystic and philosopher.
The Holy Father explained to pilgrims that
“The Lord granted her a prophetic spirit and fervent capacity to discern the signs of the times,” and she “nurtured an evident love of creation, and was learned in medicine, poetry and music” but “above all” she “maintained a great and faithful love for Christ and the Church.”
Many in the New Age movement have attempted to reinterpret her mystical works. That being said, St. Hildegard is most noted for her unfailing faithfulness and obedience to spiritual authority and the hierarchy of the Church. Thus, she set the hermeneutic standard for all mysticism – yielding to the authority of Christ and his Vicar(s).
O God, by whose grace thy servant Hildegard, enkindled with the Fire of thy love, became a burning and shining light in thy Church: Grant that we also may be aflame with the spirit of love and discipline, and may ever walk before thee as children of light; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, liveth and reigneth, one God, now and for ever. Amen
St. Hildegard, ora pro nobis!