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Pope canonises 12th century female composer

Pope Benedict is to canonise nun and composer Hildegard of Bingen after hundreds of years of debate over her sainthood.
She is first to become a Doctor of the Church in October 2012, the fourth woman with the title and the 34th in total.
While known as a German Benedictine nun for her visions and prophecies, Hildegard was also a proficient composer, producing around 72 works.
It was as far back as 1233 when a commission first gathered evidence to make her a saint, but it has not been until now that she has been officially recognised. With the appointment, Hildegard is celebrated for contributing to Catholic theology despite living hundreds of years earlier.
“She brought a woman’s insight to the mysteries of the faith,” the Pope said to an audience last year.
“In her many works she contemplated the mystic marriage between God and humanity accomplished in the Incarnation, as well as the spousal union of Christ and the Church. She also explored the vital relationship between God and creation, and our human calling to give glory to God by a life of holiness and virtue.”
He also said that the nun “served the Church in an age in which it was wounded by the sins of priests and laity”.
For many people, she will be known for her musical accomplishments, however. She produced one of the largest repertoires of any medieval composer, including Ordo Virtutum, a musical play which features 20 characters including the Devil.
The Symphonia armoniae celestium revelationum is another of her works, which includes a number of antiphons, hymns, and sequences for the Mass.
Her popularity was also bolstered by a 1985 recording by Gothic Voices, called A Feather on the Breath of God, which won the Choral Award by Gramophone Magazine at the time.

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