Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Works of St. Hildegard von Bingen

 As many will have heard by now, St. Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179), or St. Hildegard of Bingen (for English speakers), was named a Doctor of the Church by Pope Benedict XVI on October 7, 2012.  Though she had little education as a child, she became a polymath, composing hymns, penning a musical morality play, corresponding with people from monks and nuns to popes and emperors, explaining the Rule of St. Benedict and the Athanasian Creed, preaching commentaries on the Gospels, and writing two books on medicine, along with being a Benedictine abbess and recording (with the help of others) three books of the visions that she received starting from the age of 15.  Truly, St. Hildegard was (or is, since she lives now in Heaven) an extraordinary saint and woman. 

I thought it would be a helpful service for those wishing to learn about this new Doctor of the Church to have a list of links to complete translations of her works into English.  Most of these are links to Amazon listings for these publications, while a few of them are on-line versions.  I hope you find this useful.

NOTE: I have not read all these translations, so I do not know how accurate they are or what the introductions/commentaries consist of.  Some of these translators may not be in accord with the Catholic faith (at the very least, Matthew Fox, who translated the Liber Divinorum Operum, is a former Roman Catholic priest who left the Church to become an Episcopal priest and preach "New Age" spirituality, so be especially cautious with him).

Causae et Curae (Causes and Cures): One of St. Hildegard's two books on natural medicine.  
Epistolae (Letters): St. Hildegard wrote hundreds of letters: the English translation covers three volumes (one of which I couldn't find a good listing for on Amazon).
Explanatio Regulae Sancti Benedicti (Explanation of the Rule of St. Benedict): The community of the Convent of Hunniensis asked St. Hildegard for a commentary on and explanation of their founder's rule, and the saint obliged.
Explanation of the Athanasian Creed: A lesser-known work, quite possibly a sermon on the feast of St. Rupert, a saint she had a great devotion to.
  • Here is an online edition of a translation by Thomas M. Izbicki that I did not find on Amazon. 
Expositiones Evangeliorum (Homilies on the Gospels): A series of homilies given by St. Hildegard (did I mention that she also gave multiple preaching tours throughout Germany?). 
Liber Divinorum Operum (Book of Divine Works): The 3rd book of St. Hildegard's visions.
Liber Vitae Meritorum (Book of the Merits of Life): The 2nd book of St. Hildegard's visions
Lingua Ignota (Unknown Language): A language possibly constructed by St. Hildegard, possibly divinely revealed.  The language only consists of an alphabet (23 letters, like Latin), 1011 (or 1012?) words with Latin, and sometimes German, glosses (translations), plus one short Latin text incorporating 5 lingua ignota words, only one of which exists in the dictionary.
Ordo Virtutum (The Play of the Virtues): A musical morality play describing the virtues.
Physica: St. Hildegard's more famous book on natural medicine.
Scivias: The 1st book of St. Hildegard's visions, and more arguably her most famous.
Symphonia Armonie Celestium Revelationum (Symphony of the Harmony of Celestial Revelations): The collection of St. Hildegard's famous hymns.
Vita Sancti Dysibodi Episcopi (The Life of Saint Disibod, Bishop): A hagiography of St. Disibod, an Irish saint that St. Hildegard had a devotion to.
Vita Sancti Rupperti Confessoris (The Life of Saint Rupert, Confessor): A hagiography of St. Rupert, whom St. Hildegard had a devotion to.

I hope you found this list helpful.  If you have any additional links for me, please feel free to leave a comment, and I will add the link to this list.  Thank you for reading, and God Bless.

Hl. Hildegard von Bingen, bitte für uns!
St. Hildegard of Bingen, pray for us!

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