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The Hildegard of Bingen Trail in Germany

The Hildegard of Bingen Trail in Germany
The Hildegard Trail in Bingen (Bob Sessions photo)

Hildegard Pilgrimage Path

“I love this sign, don’t you? I’ve traveled to a lot of holy places, but Bingen, Germany, is the only place where the pilgrimage route is marked by a nun sign. Hildegard is their most famous resident, and they want to make it easy for pilgrims to follow in her footsteps.

And more people are doing just that, for Hildegard of Bingen is enjoying a surprising career resurgence for someone who’s been dead for nine centuries (for more information on her biography, see The Life of Hildegard of Bingen). Her fan club is certainly diverse: feminists hail her as a foremother, environmentalists praise her views on nature, New Age enthusiasts recognize her as a kindred spirit, and musicians record her chants (the CD A Feather on the Breath of God was a surprise best-seller in 1988). And in 2012 Hildegard was named a Doctor of the Church by Pope Benedict XVI, an honor given to only four women saints.”

The Hildegard von Bingen pilgrimage route leads on about 135 kilometers from Idar-Oberstein to Bingen am Rhein and Rüdesheim-Eibingen through the land of Hildegard.

Hildegardweg / Hildegard Pilgrim Path

Itinerary program for a 8-day pilgrimage path (see map)  ~ 8-Strecken-Programm oder 8-Tage-Pilgerwanderweg (von Sonntag bis Sonntag)

  • Erste Strecke             18,7km / 4:7 Std.                                  

Idar-Oberstein – Herrstein – Niederhosenbach – Bundenbach – Hahnenbach

  • Zweite Strecke 6,8km / 1.31 Std.                                 

Hahnenbach – Oberhausen – Kallenfels – Bergen – Kirn – Schloss Dhaun

  • Dritte Strecke 17,7km / 3:39 Std.                               

Schloss Dhaun – Simmertal – Bad Sobernheim – Staudernheim Disibodenberg – Odenheim/Glan

  • Vierte Strecke   12,2 km / 2:38 Std.                              

Disibodenberg – Duchroth – Oberhausen/Nahe – Burg Schlossböckelheim – Waldböckelheim – Burgsponheim – Sponheim

  • Fünfte Strecke 9,1 km / 2:06 Std.                                 

Sponheim – Spabrücken

  • Sechste Strecke             8,4 km / 1:48 Std.                                 

Spabrücken – „Drei-Madonnen-Weg“ –  Schöneberg – Madonnenweg – Stromberg

  • Siebte Strecke 9,8 km / 2 Std.                                       

Stromberg – Bingerbrück

  • Achte Strecke – ca. 5,4 km / 1:02Std.                           

Bingerbrück – Bingen – Eibingen

Good Reading

I stumbled across this blog about Spiritual Travel and pilgrimage…

Read more from Lori Erickson

Travel writer, Episcopal deacon, and author of the Holy Rover blog at Patheos, Erickson is an engaging guide for pilgrims eager to take a spiritual journey. Her book describes travels that changed her life and can change yours, too.

September 17th is the Feast Day of St. Hildegard of Bingen.

September 17th is the Feast Day of  St. Hildegard of Bingen.
September 17th is a special day on the Catholic Church calendar as it is the feast day of a Doctor of the Church: St. Hildegard of Bingen.

Saint Hildegard Feast Day

Saint Hildegard had been venerated as a Saint in the Rhineland for centuries, and, although she is also listed in the Acta Sanctorum, the official Calendar of Saints in the Catholic Church, more than 800 years after her death had passed before Pope Benedict XVI officially canonized her for the whole Catholic Church on Pentecost Monday, May 10, 2012.  On October 7 of the same year, also by the personal intervention of the German pope, Hildegard – the fourth woman after Teresa of Avila, Catherine of Siena and Therese of Lisieux – was promoted as a Doctor of the Church.

September 17th

September 17th is a special day on the Catholic Church calendar as it is the feast day of a Doctor of the Church: St. Hildegard of Bingen.  While some would like to think of her as the patron saint of creativity, the Catholic Church hasn’t made that an official acknowledgement yet, but we can hope.

On September 17, 2013, American filmmaker, Michael Conti, was in Germany to complete filming for his documentary and took part in the procession of Hildegard’s relic during her feast day.  It was a remarkable experience that I included in my film,  The Unruly Mystic: Saint Hildegard.

Feast Day for Saint Hildegard of Bingen, September 17th - Catholic Calendar

Feast Day for Saint Hildegard of Bingen, September 17th – Catholic Calendar

A saint’s feast day can be the day of their actual death or a day assigned by the Church. Typically, the Church only assigns a day when the day of death is unknown or if several other saints are already assigned to that day. The number of canonized saints, however, is greater than the number of days in a calendar year. So two or more saints often share the same feast day. Because overlap often occurs, and the Church isn’t sure of the date of death of some saints, other calendar dates are sometimes chosen — such as the day that the saint was canonized.

Remembering Linn Maxwell Keller

Linn Maxwell Keller was indeed an embodiment of Saint Hildegard in both spirit and talent, truly worthy of being her own version of a patron saint of creativity

An interesting  connection

On how I first heard of Linn Maxwell Keller occurred during the spring of 2013 when I was researching Saint Hildegard online in Boulder for my film, The Unruly Mystic: Saint Hildegard.  I found out that Linn Maxwell was performing that very next night in Denver at DU, and while I couldn’t see her in concert as I was teaching that night, I called her the next day to introduce myself.  You never know how someone will take your call or if they will make themselves available to your requests of filming them.  Besides inviting me to Jackson Hole later that year, she opened up a whole new perspective for me on Hildegard’s music and was kind enough to allow me to use clips of her work in my final film.  She also introduced me to other people in her community, most notably Dr. Beverly Kienzle who was a professor at Harvard Divinity School at that time.  Sadly she passed away, way too soon a couple years after I released my film with her in it.


Linn Maxwell Keller during her interview for The Unruly Mystic at her summer home in Jackson Hole


Remembering Linn Maxwell Keller (Dec 6, 1943 -June 18, 2016) 

“On St. Hildegard’s feast day I and many others remember a beloved friend, Linn Maxwell Keller, an internationally acclaimed mezzo soprano. As The Times of London review proclaimed (August 2010) and many of us experienced at her performances, “Hildegard is reborn as mezzo Linn Maxwell”.  Linn performed with world-class orchestras, was featured in many international opera companies, and played recital halls across the United States and in twenty-five other countries. On April 19, 2015,  Linn performed her play, Hildegard of Bingen and the Living Light, to a spellbound audience at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Cambridge, MA. From Boston, she departed for a tour of Australia, performing in several cities. She completed a second play, St. Hildegard: Trumpet of God, also available on CD. Linn and her ensemble,The Hildegard Singers, recorded two CDs of Hildegard’s music: O Greenest Branch: Songs of St. Hildegard of Bingen, and Hildegard of Bingen: Songs from the Abbey. Her other recordings range from opera to cabaret.”*

Linn is deeply missed by all of us who knew her–family, friends, fans, and the communities she supported.  

Her work lives online with the interviews and selected scenes from her film, Hildegard of Bingen and the Living Light. You can see more about this amazing woman in The Unruly Mystic: Saint Hildegard.

*Thank you to Dr. Beverly Kienzle for this memory.