Hildegard has been called "the most prominent woman in the Church of her day."4 She was the leader of a Benedictine convent near Bingen on the Rhine in what is now Germany.
Many came to Hildegard seeking healing, some from as far away as Sweden. She had no formula but seemed to rely on the inner leading of the Holy Spirit for the unique solution to each case. "Sometimes the medium used was a prayer, sometimes a simple word of command, sometimes water which, as in one case, healed paralysis of the tongue."
Contemporaries reported that "scarcely a sick person came to her without being healed."' Hildegard was also a visionary whose visions came while she was wide-awake and perfectly conscious. What she saw, she saw by "using the eyes and ears of the inner person according to the will of God."6
In addition, she spoke and sang in tongues. Her colleagues referred to these spiritual songs as "concerts in the Spirit."7 Because her experiences were not understood by some, critics denounced her as being demon possessed. She was defended, however, by her friend, Bernard of Clairvaux, who also commended her to Pope Eugenius III.
In 1148, Eugenius personally visited her and, after investigating her revelations, "recognized the genuineness of her miracles and encouraged her to continue her course."8
4. Suenens, A New Pentecost?, 39.
6. Ibid., 64
7. Ken Blue, Authority to Heal, 21-31.
8. Ruth A. Tucker, From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya, 49.