Hildegard of Bingen, Spiritus Sanctus

This is day two of the A-toZ Challenge in which I attempt to blog every day (excepting Sundays) during the month of April.

Today I’m writing about Hildegard of Bingen, an abbess from the 12th century who was a Christian mystic, a philosopher, a writer, a polymath in the 12th century.  You can’t call her a Renaissance woman, because she lived in the medieval era, but that’s splitting angel hairs dancing on the head of a pin, if you catch my drift.

Hildegard started having visions at the age of 3 and eventually her parents sent her to a nunnery.  There she fell under the influence of another mystic who taught her to read and write and and there she learned to play the psalter and compose music.  She eventually became abbess and then was called to found two more nunneries.  About 30 years ago, her music was rediscovered and she got a lot of airplay on classical stations during the Gregorian chant craze, which saw teenagers abandoning disco music and big hair and putting on sack cloths and hair shirts.  NOT!

Spiritus Sanctus text is from Psalm 110/111 and is included in the Vesper of Hildegard.  Here are the words followed by the translation:

Spiritus Sanctus vivificans vita,
movens omnia,
et radix est in omni creatura,
ac omnia de immunditia abluit,
tergens crimina,
ac ungit vulnera,
et sic est fulgens ac laudabilis vita,
suscitans et resuscitans omnia.


Holy Spirit,
Giving life to all life,
Moving all creatures,
Root of all things,
Washing them clean,
Wiping out their mistakes,
Healing their wounds,
You are our true life,
Luminous, wonderful,
Awakening the heart from its ancient sleep.


About kurtnemes
Writer and Education Professional. Specialties include Ethics, Personal Memoir, Classical music, Tai Chi, Stress Reduction, Meditation, Coping, Classical Music, Aging, Love, Joy, Compassion and Equanimity (& what interests me.)

2 Responses to Hildegard of Bingen, Spiritus Sanctus

  1. gretacabaret says:

    I discovered her music two years ago, after seeing the BBC movie “Feather on the Breath of God” starring Patricia Rutledge as Hildegarde….I’ve also seen the German language film “Visions”. How wonderful that in October of his first year as Pope, Francis formally–and finally– declared Hildegarde a saint of the Roman Catholic Church, along with two other women…

    Liked by 1 person

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