Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Mary Sharratt- Illuminating a Time and Place

A wonderful book which I will read again and again.I knew little about Hildegarde von Bingen although I had read a few writings. How modern she was and wise and most of all resilient.

Hildegarde was just a fun loving little girl when she was given to the church, not only as an ordinary nun but as a companion to a self professed anchorite. She was bricked into a very small 2 rooms for 38 years with no options or recourse.Her strong personality kept her sane, as did her through-the-screen relationship with Volmar a young boy monk.

Her life began when Jutta von Sponheim, the Anchorite dies from her ascetic lifestyle and self imposed hardships. Hildegarde's biographer Guibert of Gembloux tells it that she was 8 years old when she and 14 year old Jutta are bricked into the annex to the Disibodenberg Abbey; Jutta's biographer, Hildegarde's life ling friend Volmar says they were 14 and 20 and had spent some years together at the Sponheim Castle.

The fact remains that her mother gave her to the church because her visions were disturbing and her health was not robust.In Scivias, her first book she strongly denounced offering child oblates to monastic life;her mother never contacted her but reportedly regretted her action for the remainder of her life, sent her her only valuable possession upon her death and spoke her last words about Hildgarde.

Extremely thought provoking and extraordinarily well written. I will begin to read Mary Sharratt's other books.I am so grateful that I purchased this as a daily special

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