A New Female Doctor of the Church


The Benedictine nun Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) joins Catherine of Siena, Teresa of Jesus (or Avila), and Thérèse of the Child Jesus (or Lisieux). On 7 October 2012, Pope Benedict XVI will declare her the 35th Doctor of the Church. Hildegard wrote letters, explicative essays, treatises, and accounts of her mystical visions. She also wrote penetrating and powerful poems such as this one:

No creature has meaning
without the Word of God.
God’s Word is in all creation, visible and invisible.
The Word is living, being,
spirit, all verdant greening,
all creativity.
This Word flashes out in
every creature.
This is how the spirit is in
the flesh — the Word is indivisible from God.