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Hildegard, Abbess of Bingen  

(1098-1179). Abbess, mystic, scholar, composer, scientist, and physician. She was born in the Rhineland Valley of Germany and raised by the anchoress Jutta in a cottage near the Benedictine monastery of Disibodenberg. Hildegard experienced spiritual visions from early childhood. Other women came to live with Jutta and Hildegard, and a convent was organized with Jutta as abbess under the authority of the abbot of Disibodenberg. Hildegard became abbess in 1136 after Jutta's death. Hildegard later founded independent convents at Bingen and Eibingen, under the authority of the Archbishop of Mainz. Hildegard described her visions in Scivias. Music was essential to worship for Hildegard. The devil was condemned to live without music in Hildegard's The Play of the Virtues. Hildegard's influence and talents were wide-ranging. She was widely sought for her counsel, and she went on preaching missions in northern Europe. She corresponded with rulers and church leaders. Her writings included scientific and theological works. Hildegard is commemorated on Sept. 17 in the Episcopal calendar of the church year. 




Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.
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