“Saint Hildegard Speaks” a virtual contemplative pilgrimage and short talk series through the land of Hildegard premieres September 6, 2020

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Michael Conti Productions presents “Saint Hildegard Speaks” beginning on Sunday, Sept 6 at Noon EST and concluding on Saint Hildegard’s Feast Day on Sept 17, 2020.

For twelve days online, you are invited to experience contemplative spiritual direction from an American follower of Hildegard, see new videos that are elegant and divinely inspired from “Saint Hildegard Speaks” stations along the Hildegard Way in Germany and listen to academic and theological short talks on themes in Hildegard’s life.

This special ecumenical online pilgrimage has been created by pilgrim-filmmaker Michael M. Conti, who took the 85 mile “Hildegard Way” through the Nahe river region in Rhineland-Palantinate in Germany. It was an inspiration from Dr. Annette Esser, the founder of Scivias Institute for Art and Spirituality. Dr. Esser speaks in character as “Hildegard” at 10 stations along the trail and gives a small glimpse into the many teachings of Saint Hildegard.

The Reverend Doctor Shanon Sterringer will open each daily session at Noon EDT with a ringing of the church bells from the Hildegard Haus, an American Hildegard community in Ohio. Revd Dr. Sterringer will provide spiritual direction and insight to that day’s video and short talk.

After each Hildegard Way station video, an inspiring short talk on different themes of Hildegard’s life and theology will be given by international Hildegard scholars and theologians, curated by Dr. Beverly Kienzle, recently retired from Harvard Divinity School.

The virtual pilgrimage will conclude on Saint Hildegard’s Feast Day on Sept 17, with a special presentation by Revd Dr. Matthew Fox.

The entire series will be presented on Zoom. Complete details and early bird registration information can be found at SaintHildegard.com.

Who was the remarkable Hildegard of Bingen (1098 – 17 September 1179)?
A Benedictine nun, she founded two women’s monastic communities, wrote visionary treatises and multiple theological works, designed illustrations, interpreted the Bible, composed liturgical songs, and developed works on natural science and medicine. Educated in the monastery and instructed though visions, Hildegard reached a level of literary and artistic production that was achieved by few men in the Middle Ages. She was named a Doctor of the Church in 2012.

Hildegard was the only medieval woman who systematically interpreted the Gospels; that is, she explained the multiple meanings of biblical texts methodically and theologically. She achieved a rich, creative, and coherent presentation of Christian theology, from the origins of the world and humankind to the afterlife. She affirmed repeatedly that divine visions taught her the deepest meaning of the Scriptures, Viriditas, or greenness, a unifying capacity of nature, lies at the core of Hildegard’s natural science, medicine, cosmology, and theology. The life-giving power of the Holy Spirit offers hope, refreshment, and faith in God’s creation, even when human perversion destroys it. For Hildegard, the lives and spirits of all creatures are interdependent—a crucial lesson for a world suffering from a pandemic and the destruction of natural life. Her belief in the interconnectedness of all living beings influences the international movements for integrative medicine and for environmental protection. Hildegard’s influence on healing, creation theology, and women’s leadership continues today, as evidenced by the spiritual pilgrimage to her homeland, so beautifully presented in the videos that follow.

The Hildegard Way (“Hildegardweg”) was established with the support from the EU in 2013 and is a 137 km pilgrimage trail through the Nahe river region in Germany. The trail begins in Ida-Oberstein, leading past the monastery ruins of Disibodenburg and Hildegard’s Rupertsburg Abbey, concluding at the Abbey of Saint Hildegard in Eibingen. 59 information tableaux, designed and written by Dr. Annette Esser, are at stations along the trail, detailing some of the teachings, philosophies, theology of Hildegard, and feature visionary artwork from Hildegard’s book “Liber Scivas.”

Michael Conti Productions:
About Crazy Wisdom Films (CWF): Every generation when finding its own voice also rediscovers the teachers, mystics, geniuses, misfits, rebels, troublemakers from the past. Films in the series to date include “The Unruly Mystic™: Saint Hildegard” and “The Unruly Mystic: John Muir."

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