Eibingen, Germany: Benedictine Abbey of Eibingen (Saint Hildegard of Bingen)
About Saint Hildegard of Bingen:
Saint Hildegard of Bingen lived 81 years, from 1098 to 1179, quite a long life for that point in history. Her life was not only long, but very productive, and her life story is nothing short of amazing. Although she had been receiving visions in one form or another since early childhood, she did not recognize them for what they were. Then in 1141, at the age of 42, a fiery light accompanied by lightning appeared to her. She heard the instructions to “write down what you see and hear”. Reluctant to do so at first, she was struck with a debilitating illness that she took as a sign of God’s displeasure at her refusal.
Thus she began her writings, which happened to coincide with the Synod at Trier in 1147-1148. Pope Eugenius heard of her writings and gave papal approval for her to document her visions. Given this degree of credibility, she went on to not only record her visions, but write 70 musical compositions as well as a play set to music. She became an adviser to Popes, Cardinals and Statesmen and future Saints.
As if this were not enough, she gained practical skills in diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of physical diseases with holistic methods. She became well known for her healing powers involving practical application of tinctures, herbs, and natural cures.
After her death in 1179, she was buried under the main altar of the monastery of Rupertsberg. In 1632, the Monastery was destroyed by the Swedes during the Thirty Years’ War, and the nuns of Rupertsberg escaped to Eibingen, taking the shrine with Hildegard’s remains with them.
She was finally proclaimed a Saint and Doctor of the Church in 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI. Her Feast Day is celebrated on December 17.
About the Benedictine Abbey at Eibingen:
You can see her coffin here in the abbey at Eibingen. The Abbey is open daily from 5:30 a.m. until 8:15 p.m. (20:15). You are welcome to attend any of the worship activities, which include Mass, Vespers, Compline and Matins.
Eibingen is located West of Frankfurt. There are frequent trains from Frankfurt involving a change of trains in Mainz that will take you to the nearest train station, Rudesheim am Rhein. Total travel time is about two hours. From there it is a short distance to the Abbey. Get train & bus schedules, see fares & buy tickets here.
Address: Klosterweg, 65385 Rüdesheim am Rhein
GPS coordinates: 49° 59′ 34.5444” N, 7° 55′ 48.1620” E
Tel: + 49 (0) 6722 499-0
e-mail: [email protected]
Click here for the official website of the Abbey at Eibingen.
Photos courtesy Eibingen Abbey