Hildegard von Bingen

1098-1179

Hildegard von Bingen also known as Hildegard of Bingen was an unusual woman for Medieval times.

Childhood

Hildegard was born in 1098 in Germany the 10 child to a noble family. In the Middle Ages, the tenth child was dedicated at birth to the church, which meant she would become a nun, never marry and live in a convent – spending her life worshipping God.  When Hildegard was 8 she was sent to live with Jutta – a nun who would teach her to read and write. Jutta lived close to a monastery (a home for monks) and it was from the Monks that Hildegard heard and learned to love music. Hildegard lived in a small room with Jutta for many years and learned many things from her.

In the Monestary

Hildegard spent her days praying and studying and she also began to have visions. Hildegard believed her visions were God’s way of talking to her and showing her things.  At first she didn’t tell anyone about her visions but eventually she told Jutta who told others and people began to believe that God was talking to Hildegard and that she was a wise and holy woman.  She began to write about her visions. She also wrote about animals and plants, about nature and healing; she also wrote music and poetry.

Life Works

Hildegard was able to do many important things in her life. She helped cure people and was known as a scientist and healer. She was also known for her visions and miracles. In a time when women were not thought of as being important, kings, bishops and other important people would turn to Hildegard for advice.

Hildegard established her own convent where the nuns would learn about science and would also sing and perform her music. Today, we have music of about 70 of Hildegard’s pieces.

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