Hildegard von Bingen Still Sparkles All the Way from the 12th Century
Herbalist, musician, writer, feminist, and mystic are just a few of the many titles St. Hildegard von Bingen had earned in her lifetime. This 12th century badass was surely ahead of her time and is the first person we’d like to meet as soon as time travel is available. This September 17th is St. Hildegard’s Feast Day and we are thrilled to honor our muse and patron saint.
Feast days are celebrations of canonized saints in remembrance of all they have done for this little world of ours. St. Hildegard devoted much of her time to holistic practices, the study of botanicals, music, and helping others, all while maintaining her spiritual side and feminist beliefs. Even Judy Chicago, an artist famously known for “The Dinner Party”, included a beautiful setting for St. Hildegard. Her dinner setting was dressed in gold with a white cloth that draped softly down, adorned with color to look like stained glass. Chicago captured Hildegard’s creativity and spirituality while also getting through her intelligence. Clearly, St. Hildegard has her fans.
Feast Day celebrations can vary and St. Hildegard’s way of celebrating is definitely different from how we will be. During St. Hildegard’s time here on Earth, she felt crucial parts to Feast Day celebrations were including virgin women, asking them to come forward.
They say that on feast days your virgins stand in the church with unbound hair when singing the psalms and that as part of their dress they wear white, silk veils, so long that they touch the floor. Moreover, it is said that they wear crowns of gold filigree. — The New Yorker, 2023
The church had an issue with St. Hildegard due to these practices. Not because St. Hildegard was calling forth virgins for their purity, but because St. Hildegard included women of lower social and economic status. That was frowned upon back in the 12th century. This was very typical of St. Hildegard, to “stick it to the man” so to speak and to encourage equality across the board. This woman of the hour is our muse as her ideas of creativity, herbalism, good health practices, (and alcohol), aligned with our vision of what we wanted to create — a functional, botanical cocktail.
St. Hildegard said that “lemon balm contains within it the virtues of a dozen other plants”, so instantly we knew it must be included in all three flavors of St. Hildie’s.
Hildegard’s fondness and in-depth knowledge of herbs is truly inspiring. She was one of the earliest people to write about using hops to preserve beer — nine centuries later hops are still being used to do so. It makes divine sense that she is known as the mother of herbalism.
While our dear St. Hildegard would have wanted us to celebrate her Feast Day a bit differently, we would love to ask you to grab some friends, a Hildie (or two), and enjoy feast day in whatever way you please—sans outing virgins in church that is!
x, Sophie from St Hildie’s