Saint Hildegard, 1098-1179, a German Benedictine abbess, who was a writer, composer, philosopher, Christian mystic and polymath ― a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas to draw on complex bodies of knowledge to solve specific problems. Pope Benedict XVI named her Doctor of the Church on October 7, 2012.
She founded two monasteries, composed a morality play, and wrote theological, botanical, and medicinal texts, liturgical songs and poems among other works.
Hildegard was experiencing visions at age 5, and recognized it was a gift she could not explain. She saw all things in the light of God through the five senses: sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch. Throughout her life, she continued to have many visions, and in 1141 at age 42, Hildegard received a vision from God, to “write down which you see and hear.” Pope Eugenius heard of Hildegard’s writings at the synod in Trier and granted her papal approval to document her visions as revelations from the Holy Spirit.
Hildegard’s most significant works were her three volumes of visionary theology ― Scivias ― composed during 1142–1151. She describes each vision, whose details are often strange and enigmatic, and then interprets their theological contents.