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The Canonization and Doctorization of Hildegard of Bingen

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Chapter Summary

The formal papal declaration of Hildegard's sanctity was made on May 10, 2012, followed a few months later, on October 7, 2012, by a similar declaration of her being a "Doctor of the Church". In fact, what had lasted for centuries was the longest canonization process in the history of the Church precisely, the process to canonize Hildegard. That this surprise should be followed so quickly by the decision to grant Hildegard the title of Doctor indicates the great interest in the magistra's image, character, teaching, and impact over the course of over eight centuries. This chapter traces the interest demonstrated by the papacy and the curia in the cult of Hildegard, culminating with its 2012 apotheosis. The canonization and doctorization of Hildegard of Bingen were not simply the acts of a German Pope recognizing a German holy woman, but rather the culmination of centuries of efforts in that direction.

Keywords: Bingen; canonization; Church; doctorization; German Pope; Hildegard; magistra



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