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Hildegard, Our Guide

In preparing for the upcoming Appalachian Women’s Retreat, I found it quite challenging to think about the ways in which I might relate to Saint Hildegard of Bingen, our spiritual guide for the retreat. Hildegard was a German Benedictine abbess who lived from 1098-1179 A.D. By all accounts, she was a truly amazing woman—a polymath—who used her incredible talents as a composer, healer, philosopher, visionary, leader, and naturalist. Having been offered up by her parents, Hildegard survived much of her childhood and young adulthood trapped in a small room with, Jutta, an “anchoress” to God. The two were enclosed in what was basically a cell (even the doorway was walled in with stone) inside of

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