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.
Convinced that she must now begin her writings, she did so at a time 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.
On May 10, 2012 Pope Benedict XVI signed the decree of the canonization of Hildegard of Bingen and her name is entered in the martyrology of the universal church.
On October 7 of that year, Pope Benedict XVI then conferred the title of Doctor of the Universal Church on Hildegard of Bingen.
Her Feast Day is celebrated on September 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.. The church is designed entirely in Beuron art style and has impressive wall paintings. The silence of the room invites you to linger and contemplate. In the monastery shop you can buy a detailed description of the church and the monastery complex.
Overnight guests are welcome: there are 16 single rooms, each with shower and toilet. The hotel also features two meeting rooms, a guest refectory, a small library and reading room, a lounge with kitchenette and a meditation room. The guest garden has magnificent views over the Rhine Valley.
Traveling to the Benedictine Abbey in Eigingen:
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
Click here for the official website of the Abbey at Eibingen.
Photos courtesy Eibingen Abbey