Today is the Feast Day of St. Hildegard of Bingen. While she’s only been formally recognized a Saint for a few years, her title of Saint also came with the Title “Doctor of the Church”. A Doctor of the Church is some recognized as contributing greatly to theology or doctrine. It’s a title which has been given to 35 people, currently only 4 of them are women (we’re still catching up in that regard).
In her time she was a Jack of all trades when it came to her religious life – she has an extensive bibliography, composed music, corresponding with Popes, received visions and was a scholar of medicine and the natural world. In a time when women were intentionally kept in the Dark Ages her accomplishments were and are phenomenal.
We still live in a world where the education of women is a divisive topic. Some of you might have already read through this gem about not sending your daughters to college, and I can say the backlash from the Catholic community was enormous. It is sad that we still have these debates; we need to move forward, not backward to time when women were glass figures guarded and handed off to the next man responsible from her.
The modern woman, encouraged and supported by our last 3 Popes so well, is amazing in her ability to follow her vocation, whatever that may be, in harmony of her feminine genius. We can be career women, religious, mothers, and so much more with any amount of education we desire and all the experiences, good and bad that come with the temptations of life.
So today I recommend that St. Hildegard become our patron saint – the patron saint of any clever, able minded woman discerning her role in this world.