HILDEGARD OF BINGEN
1098 - 1179
Author of visionary writings
At the age of seven, Hildegarde became the student of a German anchoress named Jutta. (Anchorites of both sexes received the last rites and confined themselves in small cells. They had no access to the outside world except through a small hole used to pass food in and waste out.)
Through Jutta, Hildegarde learned to read the Psalter in Latin. After Jutta's death, Hildegard succeeded her as abbess, even though she, too, had become an anchoress.
Hildegarde suffered from terrible migranes, which caused her to see visions. She confided the visions only in Jutta and in a monk named Volmar, who became her life-long secretary and biographer. Pestered constantly by feelings of inadequacy, aware of the numerous 12th Century religious frauds, Hildegarde wrote to several Church officials to have her visions supported. Pope Eugenius responded, and encouraged her to keep writing. Hildegarde was an author and a composer, as well.
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