Monday, November 13, 2006


NOVEMBER 13- Remembering all the saints from the Order of Saint Benedict

Today's saint from the Sanctorale, or traditional church calendar, is not just one saint but ALL the saints from the Benedictine tradition. Most who read my blog probably see how shaped I have been by the monastic tradition. So I don't have to say much about why I would blog about it.

There's quite a few benedictines who ended up as saints but I'm going to focus on one- Hildegard of Bingen. This woman was quite amazing:

Hildegard of Bingen(1098-1179), was born to a noble family, convent-educated from the age of seven by Benedictine nuns at Disibodenberg, near Bingen.

At age 43 she became abbess of her community, a position whose responsibilities did not keep her from pursuing an astonishing variety of creative and scholarly accomplishments. Historians know Hildegard for her correspondence with bishops, popes, abbots, and kings; mystics know her for her book of visions; medical historians and botanists for her two books on natural history and medicine; and literary scholars for her morality play, the Ordo Virtutum.

Musicians are beginning to know Hildegard for her antiphons, hymns, and sequences, a large body of monophonic chants whose text and music are both by Hildegard. Her chants are rich in mystical images, and her melodies are elaborate, with florid melodic contours, ornamented inflections, and wide ranges. Check out one of her chants here.

It probably sounds strange that I would include in my daily prayer remembering a saint, but the reason that I do it is that I see it as a way to connect my prayers with the "Communion of Saints" and it helps remind me of those who have paved the way for the Church today.

By Your grace, the monks and nuns of Benedict became a shining light in Your Church.
Grant, we pray, that we too may serve You with singleness of heart,
that we may also be aflame with the spirit of love and discipline,
and that we may ever walk before You as children of light. Amen.
(from the Book of Common Prayer)

1 comment:

gavin richardson said...

hildy is cool, i even think she is one of my myspace friends. now that is some iconic transcendant stuff!