Hildegard von Bingen

In her lifetime, she wore a nun's gown and spent several hours of the day in silent prayer. Today, more than 800 years after her death, she is a super star. Not only theologians admire Hildegard von Bingen, who shared her prophecies with popes and rulers, as well as with common people. Natural scientists are impressed with writings that express her thoughts on the cosmos. Feminists celebrate her daring comments in a time when the law gave no rights to women. Besides all that, Hildegard von Bingen is a revered composer. One of her most famous works is a vocal piece called "Ordo Virtutum," which is Latin for "order of virtues." It has 17 virtues fight with the Devil over a soul. Hildegard von Bingen's popularity goes far beyond Germany. The United States is also experiencing a Hildegard Hype. Last weekend (Jan. 10/11), Ordo Virtutum was performed at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., and an all-day symposium showcased the mystical medieval woman from many different angles.

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