Monday, 7 May 2012

St Hildegard in 2012

How dark were the dark ages?

Tuscany is one of my favourite places.  Rome had been under military misrule for almost three centuries before Benedictine was born in 480 AD.  Communities of Benedictine monks remind us that respect for what they stand for has been there for over a thousand years.  The Rule of St Benedict makes interesting reading for anyone on a spiritual path or just curious.

On May 20 I raise a glass to the memory of St Bernadine of Siena.  In the 1400s he virtually single handed returned Italy to a widespread acceptance of non violence and the rule of law even on the part of rulers which paved the way for the Italian renaissance.

A great interest in the Benedictine tradition is a german abbess called St Hildegard.  She is known for her visions, music and vivid art but also for her healing and herbal medicine.  She used a word viriditas to describe the green or life force which could effect healing. As a holistic healer she used plants, stones and waters to restore health.  She wrote 9 books and is credited with the first book on gynecology.
Hildegards beatification could be completed in late 2012 when she will be declared a doctor of the church
Hildegard achieved particular success with eye infections.  Lavender cultivation was promoted and remains an important essential oil.

Essential n.  something of importantance

Ian Brealey

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