Lent Madness: Theresa of Avila vs. Hildegard of Bingen

Next up: two female saints going at it with a trip to the Final Four at stake. If you were placing bets the currency would be the Euro — we have a Spaniard vs. a German. It’s a battle between mystics of mythic proportion.

In recent Lent Madness action, Julian of Norwich soundly defeated Peter 70% to 30%to advance to the Final Four. Julian will face off against Francis of Assisi for a trip to the Championship. View the updated tournament bracket here: Lent Madness 2010

Legends & Kitsch!

Several miracles and legends have developed around Theresa’s death. She died on one of her journeys through the Spanish countryside in October, 1582. That night, her monastic cell back in Avila was said to fill with a pleasant fragrance. When her body was exhumed 330 years later, her coffin emitted the same heavenly smell. This miracle has been called the “odor of sanctity.” According to another legend, a hand severed from Teresa’s body could perform miracles. Finally, Theresa is the patron saint of, among other things, people with headaches and those ridiculed for their piety.

Hildegard was a woman way ahead of her time — mystic, abbess, author, artist, musician, philosopher. Unfortunately, the New Age movement has horned in on her achievements and has recently made claims upon her. Many of her (very Christian!) visions and her music have been hijacked by New Agers. You can find CDs featuring Hildegard’s music labeled “Healing Chants;” she’s sometimes referred to as a “feminist nun;” and is celebrated as a “female herbalist.” It has also been suggested that migraine “auras” inspired her art.


2 Comments on “Lent Madness: Theresa of Avila vs. Hildegard of Bingen”

  1. Gotta go with the red petticoat gal!

  2. Dorothee says:

    Tough choice but I have a headache so I went with the one that might cure it!

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