Land der Hildegard - Hildegard von Bingen

Historisches Museum am Strom Hildegard von Bingen

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Divine Mission

Her Life › Years of study in the hermitage › Divine Mission

Navigationsbaum: Her Life › Years of study in the hermitage › Divine Mission

As so often in the future, Hildegard was forced to stay in her sickbed when she defied the voice of God, until she started writing the first lines of Scivias. In this difficult time, a monk supported her and she could confide her doubts and insecurities in him. This monk was Volmar, who should accompany her through life until his death in 1173 and was her closest confidant and teacher.

„I confided this to a monk, my teacher, (…). It astounded him, and he enjoined me to write down these visions so he could consider their true character and origin. When he recognized that these visions were from God, he consulted his Abbot and thereafter assisted me most willingly.“.

As it was portrayed in one of the best- known paintings from the Rupertsberg Codex of the Liber Scivias, which is lost today, Hildegard captured her visions on wax tablets, while Volmar transcribed them onto parchment in a grammatically correct form. The nun Richardis of Stade, who was described in Scivias as „well-behaved noble girl“, supported Hildegard as her secretary and close confidant. The visionary Hildegard was now on the point of becoming a prophet dedicated to spreading the word of God across the world.

In 1141, Hildegard had an experience that fundamentally changed her life:

„And it happened in my forty-third year of my life: Full of fear and trembling of rapt attention, I was spellbound and looked at a heavenly face. I suddenly saw a luminous brightness from which a voice from heaven commanded me: ‘O fragile human, ashes of ashes, filth of filth, speak and write these things that you see and hear. (…) And write them not by yourself or any other human being, but by the will of Him Who knows, sees, and disposes all things in the secrets of His mysteries.’ (…) The heavens were opened and a fiery light of great brilliance came. (…) And suddenly I arrived at a spiritual understanding of books, i.e., the Psalter, the Gospel, and the other Catholic writings of the Old and New Testament.“