3 Lessons from Saint Hildegard of Bingen for the modern Christian woman


Women today can learn so much from the life of this extraordinary abbess and leader of the Middle Ages.

It almost feels like a trip back in time as Saint Hildegard of Bingen emerged in the 12th century to become an iconic saint for women today. This medieval “Renaissance woman” held legendary status for centuries, but it wasn’t until 2012 that she was officially canonized and made a Doctor of the Church.

Saint Hildegard was an international leader at a time when women rarely occupied positions of authority. She was widely respected for her intelligence, knowledge and spiritual gifts. Abbess of a convent, she was a philosopher, theologian, composer, playwright, botanist and itinerant preacher. Truly a woman of many talents!

Since his recent canonization, the world has given him renewed attention. On her feast day today, let’s think about some lessons modern women can learn from her amazing life.

1It’s not too late to leave its mark

An amazing part of Saint Hildegard’s story is that she was what we would call a “late bloomer”. The average life expectancy in his day was 33 Years. Yet she did not begin to write her vast and varied works until the age of 42.

If you think it is too late to make a change or achieve a goal, ask Saint Hildegard for her intercession and advice. She is an amazing example of pursuing exciting interests and passions later in life. Some even have called she is the “patroness of late blooms”.

2You have what it takes

You may be hesitant in part because you fear that you don’t have what it takes to pursue your dreams. Isn’t that true for many of us? Impostor Syndrome is very real, and it’s a vicious mind trap:

Impostor syndrome is the fear of being exposed as an impostor, of feeling unworthy of one’s success, of not being as capable as others. Both sexes suffer from impostor syndrome, but women are more susceptible and more intensely affected.

TThe truth is, most of us make it up as we go along. None of us are born knowing how to handle every situation with aplomb.

It’s okay to be uncertain at first, but go ahead and start on the path you want to go. You can learn as you go. We all do!

Saint Hildegard gives us an incredible testimony of what it looks like when a holy woman is confident in her abilities. She had many talents, and she fearlessly pursued them and made the most of what God gave her.

Hildegard shows us modern women that we really have what it takes to delve into our interests and develop our gifts.

3Use your donations in the service of others

The “why” behind her work is crucial to the story of Saint Hildegard. She was not pursuing her interests simply to flourish or accumulate treasures on earth. Instead, she put her gifts at the service of her community and the Church.

His example inspires us to use our own talents in the service of others. Whether you are a professional woman, a full-time caregiver, a student, or engaged in any other work a woman can do, you can use your God-given talents to be a force for good in the world.

God knows our world needs the good you can do in it! Let Saint Hildegard light your way, today and every day.

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