Amazing Kids! Magazine

Hildegard von Bingen

By Stella Prince, AK Adventures Editor


Hildegard von Bingen was a German composer, writer, and abbess. She was born in 1098 to a family of lower nobility. She was supposedly the youngest of ten children, and began having visions at a very young age.

When Hildegard was fourteen, her family turned her over to the Benedictine monastery. There she began working with Countess Jutta von Sponheim, who taught Hildegard how to read, write, and tend to the sick. Around that time she also began to learn the psaltery and simple notation.

By the age of eighteen, Hildegard became a nun. She quickly became in charge of the Mershmin female monastery and ran it for twenty years. During that time, she invented an alternative alphabet, had numerous religious visions, and worked on many creative projects.

In 1136, when Countess Jutta fell ill and died, Hildegard was elected as teacher of the community. She was then offered the role of prioress but declined the offer, as she wanted more independence. So instead she founded a monastery, and moved herself and her nuns to St. Rupertsburg, in Bingen am Rhein, Germany. Later in her life she even founded a second monastery, Eibingen.

But being a religious figure wasn’t all Hildegard achieved– in her lifetime she wrote sixty-nine compositions, as well as plays and books, like “Ordo Virtutum”, and “Viriditas.

One of Hildegard’s most intense works was the book, “Causae et Curae”, a scientific and medicinal three hundred chapter piece. And as I mentioned before, she also invented her own alphabet, entitled “Lingua Ignota.

One of her last projects was touring throughout Germany preaching, just before her death in 1179.

Today Hildegard von Bingen is forever remembered for her genius compositions, thousands of pages of writings, and fascinating religious visions. She will always be in our hearts.