Hildegard

1098-1179. German abbess, mystic, and writer, who became the leader of a convent near Bingen. She experienced visions which increased in frequency as she grew older. An investigation by the archbishop of Mainz gave a favorable verdict on the authenticity of her experiences, and he assigned a monk, Volmar, to act as her secretary. Pope Eugenius III also investigated her activities, and again a favorable report followed. Her principal work, Scivias, is an account of twenty-six visions with an apocalyptic emphasis dealing with creation, redemption, and the church. She also wrote saints' lives, two books of medicine and natural history, hymns, homilies, and a language of her own consisting of 900 words and an alphabet of twenty-three letters. Her influence extended beyond her convent through her extensive correspondence and travels in Germany and France. She spoke to people of all classes and called them to repent and obey the warnings God had given to her. Although miracles have been attributed to her and canonization procedures have been started, they have never been completed.