St. Hildegard of Bingen

October 22, 2012

Pope Benedict added a 16th-century Spanish priest and a 12th-century German abbess to the roster of doctors of the universal Church.

The pope proclaimed the new doctors, St. John of Avila and St. Hildegard of Bingen, at Mass Oct. 7 in St. Peter’s Square.

Pope Benedict said St. John, “a profound expert on the sacred Scriptures,” knew how to “penetrate in a uniquely profound way the mysteries of the redemption worked by Christ for humanity.”

Noting St. Hildegard’s knowledge of medicine, poetry and music, the pope called her a “woman of brilliant intelligence, deep sensitivity and recognized spiritual authority.

The Lord granted her a prophetic spirit and fervent capacity to discern the signs of the times.”

The doctors of the Church are saints honoured for particularly important contributions to theology and spirituality.

The 35 doctors include such notables as Sts. Augustine, Thomas Aquinas and Thérèse of Lisieux.