Skip to comments.Pope Benedict creates two new Doctors of the Church
Posted on 10/07/2012 1:47:16 PM PDT by NYer
.- Pope Benedict XVI has named two new Doctors of the Church: the 16th century Spanish priest St. John of Avila and the 12th century German nun St. Hildegard of Bingen.
St. John of Avila was “a profound expert on the sacred scriptures, he was gifted with an ardent missionary spirit,” said the Pope Oct. 7, “he knew how to penetrate in a uniquely profound way the mysteries of the redemption worked by Christ for humanity.”
St. John of Avila was a priest, mystic, preacher and scholar. Pope Benedict announced his intention to name him a Doctor of the Church at World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid last August, much to the delight of Spanish Catholics. Today’s declaration took place in a brief ceremony prior to Mass in St. Peter’s Square in Rome.
The Pope said St. John was “a man of God” who “united constant prayer to apostolic action.”
“He dedicated himself to preaching and to the more frequent practice of the sacraments, concentrating his commitment on improving the formation of candidates for the priesthood, of religious and of lay people, with a view to a fruitful reform of the Church.”
Turning to St. Hildegard of Bingen, Pope Benedict called her “an important female figure of the 12th century” who “offered her precious contribution to the growth of the Church of her time” by “employing the gifts received from God and showing herself to be a woman of brilliant intelligence, deep sensitivity and recognized spiritual authority.”
Among her vast array of talents, St. Hildegard was a writer, composer, philosopher and mystic, as well as an abbess and founder of several monasteries. In May 2012 Pope Benedict formally added her to the Church’s roster of saints, extending her liturgical feast throughout the world.
“The Lord granted her a prophetic spirit and fervent capacity to discern the signs of the times,” explained the Pope to pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square. St. Hildegard, he said, “nurtured an evident love of creation, and was learned in medicine, poetry and music” but “above all” she “maintained a great and faithful love for Christ and the Church.”
The title of Doctor of the Church is bestowed upon a saint whose writings are deemed to be of universal importance to the Church. The Pope must also declare the individual to be of “eminent learning” and “great sanctity.” Other Doctors of the Church include St. Augustine, St. John Chrysostom, St. Francis de Sales, and St. Catherine of Siena.
The tapestry of St. Hildegard of Bingen hangs from the facade of St. Peter's Basilica during the opening of the synod of bishops in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012. Pope Benedict XVI has named two new "doctors" of the church, conferring the Catholic Church's highest honor on a 16th-century Spanish preacher St. John of Avila, and to St. Hildegard of Bingen, and a 12th century German mystic who wasn't even officially recognized as a saint until earlier this year.
Jimmy Akin is one of the Nat. Catholic Register's most knowledgeable columnists. There's a lot of links to Hildegard stuff in the combox comments.
Official trailer of VISION, a German movie about Hildegard. The trailer is kind of melodramatic/gonzo/cinematic (eh, it's a trailer, what do you expect?) --- but it does give emphasis to the mystical-prophetic aspect of her vocation
Hildegard's wonderful musical compositions:
A few images of her many visions.
Hildegard of Bingen wrote some absolutely gorgeous music in praise of Our Lord!
Thank you for the research and links. Beautiful music! Do you know if she is responsible for composing both the music and lyrics?
Here's a fascinating article (Link) about the ecstatic quality of her melodies.
The scale-method of writing Gregorian chant had just been invented and was still in the formative stages.
In researching the origin of Gregorian chant, I learned something that I have repeatedly heard in the Maronite Church.
The Gregorian chant is the oldest musical manifestation of the Occident and it has its roots in the songs of the old synagogues, since Jesus Christ`s times.source ref.
Both draw their inspiration from the early christian church.
I understand that Hildegard's music was essentially liturgical (in other words it wasn't "art music" or "performance music," it was intended for sacred/church worship usage) and yet some of it is very challenging: for instance it spans 2 1/2 octaves, which is beyond the vocal range most people can sing readily. Some think most of the choir nuns may have been singing a single tone in the background (called a drone).
I keep hoping they'll find more of her manuscripts. Some of her vast correspondance --- plus that of many others --- were destroyed in the conflagrations of WWII :o(
War kills more than the present. It kills the past.