St. Hildegard of Bingen

St. Hildegard of Bingen

May 21, 2012

Although she was never canonized, St. Hildegard of Bingen is to be added to the Catholic Church's formal list of saints, and Catholics worldwide may celebrate her Sept. 17 feast day with a Mass and special readings by order of Pope Benedict.

The Vatican announced May 10 that the pope formalized the Church's recognition of the 12th-century German Benedictine mystic, "inscribing her in the catalogue of saints."

The pope's order recognizes St. Hildegard's widespread fame of holiness and that Catholics have venerated her for centuries.

In a 2010 talk, Pope Benedict said in St. Hildegard's time, there were calls for radical reform of the Church to fight the problem of abuses made by the clergy.

However, she "reproached demands to subvert the very nature of the Church."

She also reminded people that "a true renewal of the ecclesial community is not achieved so much with a change in the structures as much as with a sincere spirit of penitence."