This 2016 episode examines a Christian mystic of medieval Europe who was way, way ahead of her time. If she had lived a few hundred years later, and been male, people probably would have called her a renaissance man.
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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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like Hilda Guard, one being in music will take you to just a wealth of results, and this so it originally came out on March. Seventh. Twenty sixteen welcome to stuff. You missed in history class, a production of Iheart radio and a welcome crazy, we will set about how we are headed, a mediaeval Germany. Today's talk about a woman who was way way way, ahead of her time, he was filled a guard of being in also known as tilled. The guard bomb thing in and as a symbol of the Rhine so long time. Listeners as we tell the story, will probably notice some similarities.
When her and passed on cast subject Marjorie Camp, it was another Kristen mystic. They lived in medieval Europe back when we recorded that episode about Marjorie Camp, which was actually, I think, the first episode that I researched for the show when Holly and I came on, I intended to be kind of a minute. Many theories on women myths mystics in medieval world because of their lives are really super. Interesting. Listening to or learning about them can really dispel some of the misconceptions that a lot of it we have about the medieval world about women's place, specifically in the mediaeval World right. That was three years ago.
our recent episode on the history of the english language got me thinking about the medieval world? Again, though, so it seemed like a good time to come back and revisit this. This world of of women in the church in Medieval Europe Hilda Guard, was born in ten. Ninety eight in Frank Tonia, which is now a region in Germany. Her parents were hillsover and make tilled Hilda Bird was a lesser noble and held a guard was tenth count them ten tenth child. Her health was fragile and, as early as aged, three Hilda Guard was experiencing religious visions while hold a guard was still very young. Her parents gave her to the church. According to some sources, including my medieval literature professor, this was meant to be part of her parents tied now, if you're not familiar with that, Timing is the practice of giving ten percent of what everything that you earn or produce to the church at that time
We clear whether Hilda Guard, who, by her own account, was only about eight years old. When this, when she entered religious instruction had a say in the matter, she is technically one tenth of their produce children, yeah. Well, it's one of those things where I dont think there is a record of her parents saying this is part of our time, render the fact that she is reported to be their tenth child antsy then entered religious instruction and apparently tithing children was a thing that people did, it all cut the kind of comes together to be held. The guard was given to the churches, part of her parents tide and the next few years of her life are a little bit fuzzy as well. At some point, she met another religiously inclined young woman. You turn on spun Haim, who was about six? Her senior and euro is also of noble birth and of a little higher station and held a guard. You outta eventually became Hilda Guards, teacher and mentor,
Eventually held a garden outta wound up at the Benedictine Monastery have disappeared and bird, which is near the confluence of the near river and one of its tributaries about sixty miles or a hundred kilometers southwest of Frankfurt named after that. Seventh century irish monk disavowed. This abode and bird had grown into a really important religious life in the area and it had become home to a Benedictine monastery in eleven O. Eight eleven twelve Unita was enclosed as an ankara's at the monastery. Anchoresses were women who, for religious reasons, essentially sealed themselves up in a very small sell for life. Men who did this were called anchor rights, although most people, Did it were women, often, and Ankara's was literally walled in with a wall gradually being built around her? That can had a small window that let food be passed in and out, as well as a chamber pots and depending on the size and
configuration of the cell. It may have had additional windows as well to see directly into the sanctuary if, when it joined the cell or just to let in length, being an ankara's was a lot like following the life of a religious hermit, but instead of retreating to a remote place for a life of solitude in prayer and Ankara's would be shut. to a wall of a comparatively populated place like a church, a monastery or occasionally a town by the time held Guard lived anchoresses had to get official permission from the church, To this end, the ceremony for enclosing Ankara's had a lot in common with the funeral, including the anchorage receiving last rites. Basically, the anchorage was leaving her worldly life behind for one that was focused exclusively on religious devotion and study. The life of anger, rights and anchoresses was meant to be one devoted strictly to reflection, penance study and
where most of the time it was also a lifelong commitment. Although there were some who eventually left their cells in this Gothenburg, Hilda Guard at a servant lived with you too. In her hermitage, you taught Hildy Guard. Along with the recitations and observations that were required as part of their order, hold the guards early, musical Education, probably came from you too, as well, and because uses Hermitage was physically connected to the monastery their held a guard. Would it also been immersed in all of the spiritual and religious teachings and practices that were conducted within it. User definitely took a more aesthetic and strict approach to her own spiritual life than Hilda Guard did. Apart from committing to be an Ankara's for life, you to also abstained from meets an periodically abstained from all food entirely throughout her life, she continually increased the number of hours a day she spent in steady penance
prayer, and she also practise self regulation as Penance Hilda Guard, while not taking why the same approach in terms of deprivation and self flagellations did interpret illnesses as a punishment from for not following his instructions and that's actually a belief that would continue throughout her life gradually. Other young, noble women were sent to you too, to study as well, so the Benedictine monastery became home to a community of nuns and from within her cell, you too became its magistrates or its teacher in law. When you died in eleven thirty six at the age of forty four c and held a guard had been disability burg for twenty four years at least eight other women had come to the monastery to live and study with them and held a guard who, at that point, was thirty. Eight was elected to take
this place as the magistrate about three years after you to death Hilda Guard whose visions had continued since her childhood had a particularly powerful experience in the form of both a vision and a voice from the Heavens. In her record of it. The voice said to her oh fragile, human act, of ashes and filth of filth, say and write what you see in here, but since you are timid in speaking and simple and expounding and untold in, writing, speak and write these things, not by a human mouth and not by the understanding of human invention and not the requirements of human composition, but, as you see and hear them on high in the heavenly places in the wonders of God and explain these things in such that the hearer receiving the words of his instructor may expound them in those words according to that will vision and instruction. Thus, therefore, o human speak, these things that you see it
here and write them not by yourself or any other human being, but by the will of him who knows seas and disposes all things in the secrets of his mysteries, the sort of I'm going to impart and dictate to you revelations that you are going to write down exactly as you experience them. And in the same experience we also had a more regulatory experience and she wrote of that same quote: mediately anew the meaning of the exposition of the scriptures, namely the Salter, the gospel and other catholic volumes of, but both the old and new testaments, though I did not have the interpretation of the words of their texts or the division of the syllables or the knowledge of cases or tenses at First Hilda Guard resisted this call. She didn't think she was up to the task. She wasn't confident in her ability to write or to speak soon. She became ill, something
She thought she brought on herself by not following gods command. So eventually she embarked on just what the vision had instructed her to do in this eventually turned her. The someone with a much broader influence than just a religious community at disavowed Hamburg, which will talk about after Sponsor Break Hey, it's her, we wasn't. Everybody is spending lots of time on video conference calls these days, but during those long calls there's someone else. You'd, probably rather be connecting with you. Wanna be online with your fiends. That's right, fiends, not friends, because best fiends is the game that everyone is completely obsessed with download best fiends for free from the app store or Google play and boom you'll be hooked on this superfine five STAR rated puzzle game once opening up. You enter an amazing world with so much to do, want to collect Q characters have at it. There are tons of them ready
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Almost have held a guy adult life until she reached her early forties. She had confided her visions and only one person. What was outta eventually. You two had told a monk named Volmer about the visions and, after a time, bomb are basically became, held the guard secretary an editor. She would write her visions down on a wax tablet and hand them after Volmer, who would refined their spelling and their grammar, even though held a guard was now confident and her writing skills. Her ridden works are actually full of really complex ideas and thoughts after the vision commanding her to write down her visions, the archbishop of mines learned about Hilda Guards, visions and prophecies, and he can we in the group of theologians to determine
whether they were legitimate or heretical, and ultimately they decided that her visions were authentic and they allowed Volmer to officially help her with her work The bird really wanted this work to be taken seriously. Mrs, at a time when various rams, groups were kind of splintering off from the catholic Church and all kinds of people with all kinds of teachings. We're attracting large followings held a guard. We didn't like this. She thought all of these schisms. Splinter groups were going to harm that. so she wrote to Saint Bernard of Clever in the hope of getting her teams teachings officially sanctioned by the church. He eventually He brought her to the attention of Pope Eugenie is also known as Pope Eugene, the third who encourage Turkey to continue on with what she was doing and in eleven forty
when he gave her the authority to speak in public and her right on theological matters which was extremely rare or a woman filling out its first book finnish, following this endorsement by the Pope was called. Skippy is taken from the latin phrase: Skater vs Domini, or no the ways of the Lord. It was completed eleven fifty one and it describes many of her visions and also offers apocalyptic prophecies and perhaps in reference to her own young life, it records one vision that makes it quite clear that parents may only give their child up for a wholly life with that child's informed consent in some translations. That literally title IV that passage kids. You may only give up your child to the Lord, with the child's informed consent at about the same time as she finished. Skippy is
Hilda Guard also move for community. She and the month left Disability Burke they found in a closed or that had been built for them, you're being in, which is where her name held the guard of being in a bench. Lee came from this wasn't a particularly popular decision at the monastery disappeared Hamburg. There are a lot of likely reasons for why Hilda Guard decided to do it. Why was this was really dissatisfied with how the Benedictine community, at and at this and Gothenburg had been living. She thought their lifestyle was excessive and she was really concerned sums within and outside the community we're going to tear it apart. Another was word, have held the guards, visions and works had been spreading for a decade. At this point, more and more noble women had come to disobey Edinburgh to take holy orders and study with her. The monks were not too happy about giving a progressively more space and influence in favour of this. In
lots of women. An apparent reason was that she had been directed by God to move them and when she didn't immediately do it she had fallen ill. She continued writing and teaching extensively other two major regulatory works are Lieber: veto, moratorium and labour, Debenham, Au Pair M or book of life's merits and book of divine works. She also extends Lee about medicine and nature, although I MIKE her other works. These weren't based on religious, revelation their vision. They were based on her own study and reflection and on her practice as a healer. Please works include physical causes at Curae and Labour Subtile Adam. That last one is the book of subtleties of the diverse, nature of things. These medical writings draw from the greek ideas of elements and humours, as well as that idea of innate healing power is found within inanimate objects. Her met
go writings like her spirits ones, really stressed the need for humans to approach life through a balance of science, religion and art with science and art both like religion. Coming from God, Hilda Guard was no stranger to writing. Is history either she actually wrote a buyer fee of saint visible. That was the one that there Religious community had been named for that she had left previously having these seven lyric. Poems are attributed to her, along with their music, so essentially hymns that she wrote and composed. There are definitely come users and the west who lived before faded, but she's really the first one that we also have biographical details on, although she never seems to have created our work on her own. There are pieces of visual art that exists today that are based on descriptions and she wrote extensive letters about a hundred and forty five of them still exist.
Today and some of them are to have the most powerful religious and secular leaders who were alive at the time, many of them reveal themselves to be part of an ongoing correspondence is not like they were a hundred and forty five unanswered letters of some kind of cool, like they were letters that she wrote as part of guidance that she was giving to people that the people were receiving the recipients of her letters include Pope's, kings, abbots, irish and whole communities of monks and nuns. There are also more than fifty sermons that survive and a lot of them follow. The same themes is the letter. She was writing. It's really clear for me: her letters and her sermons that, as she got older alot of the timidity and uncertainty that she had carried about her abilities and her use of language or replaced by a more com, a more common an assertive way of approaching things. She also wrote repeated warnings to the monks of disability and bird
turning them that their excesses and the schisms within the religious community we're going to bring about their ruin. This turned out to be quite prescient. Fractures. Other religious community actually lead to armed struggles in the thirteenth century. The monastery was converted into a fortress and by the end of this century it lay in ruins, some of which still exist today, although many have held the guards, writings take a distinctly innately, feminine approach to their descriptions of provisions and her relationship with God. Families are actually descriptions that border on coming off as sexual. Nothing was ever considered to be heretical. Her descriptions are very rich and vivid and bury poetic, and, as we talked about, it's been a while now but ass. We talked about an episode of of Marjorie Camp a lot of times. Writings of this sort were viewed as being heresy, but hers so we really well accepted. She was in fact admired,
respected all over Germany during her life, the very first biography written of her tourism, Saint and she was consider local seen in parts of Germany for centuries before being recognised as a saint by the catholic church. In addition all her writings and teaching her community of nuns. Hilda Guard also travelled extensively Germany's preaching about The revelation some provisions in eleven sixty three. he found it a second combat and all of this, the extensive riding and teaching having your teachings accepted by the church of the whole, her leaders, her leadership, the medical writing being allowed to go out and speak public about the ology were extremely rare for women living in the twelfth century in Europe, physically. If she had lived a few hundred years later and been meal people, probably would have called her a renaissance MA am we will talk about more her legacy after a quick break from his father
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was immediately revered as a local, Saint Academic and greater public Tristram, her life have waxed and waned over the centuries. Since then, most recently, academic interestin Hilda Guard started to revive the nineteenth sixties, with the publication of german language editions of her letters and song. This also re in parallel to the second wave of the feminist movement in the United States, Hilda guards ratings about women in her being able to accomplish such a high degree. renown and authority, especially in comparison to most, of her time, made her a popular figure in the Feminist Movement Aladdin. She actually wrote that wouldn't be considered particularly feminist. Today, as we understand the term, she definitely about women as being the weaker sex and about herself as being unqualified, to do a lot of what she was doing, because she was a woman. She also recorded visions, detailed. Why women, for example, should be able to take
about God and God's work, but should not be able to be priest. So a lot of people sort of Position her as being a feminist for her time, translation, of large bodies of her work into English didn't actually happen until nineteen. Eighty two and popularity really started us. I give the United States in the nineteen nine these, because her mysticism and the elements of her life and work that could be considered feminist, fit in well with the new age movement, which was popular at the time. A big part of this was her running mean that creation was the work of God, and so it is the work of humanity to care for him shells. a lot about things being connected to God from studious, she wrote quote all living creatures, sparks from the radiation of God's brilliance, and these sparks emerge from God like the rays of the sun. If God did not give off these sparks, how would the divine flame become fully visible sounds like something that would be I'm like a poster with
beautiful sunset on it in water colours in water? In a store that smells like new age books and supplies- and that might actually there might actually be such a poster Butler That is a lot of the things that she wrote. Have that kind of, like warm, feel good kind of focus. Today, there have been editions of huge shocks in her work made of mobile and multiple languages and, in addition to that, people have written novels about her as a character, and there are numerous audio recordings of her songs. Pope Benedict the sixteenth proclaimed her to be a saint on, may tenth twenty twelve and proclaimed her as a doctor of the universal church on October. Seven, twenty twelve doktor of the universal church is a title given the saints whose ratings are significant and our
useful to people in any age of the church. This basically means her. Spiritual ratings are viewed as bearing the same importance as those of Saint Augustine and Thomas Aquinas. Saint beat the venerable and Saint John of the cross, among others. Her feast day is the seventeenth of September. I think, she's, one of only for female doctors of the universal church. There may actually be one more that's been named since then, but I think there's only been one factor of the universal Church named at all, since she wasn't twenty twelve, so ya She is she so interesting to me why the whole idea of anchoresses is really interesting to me and there are other more prominent ankara's is than you do, so maybe another three more years from now. In this many theories, that's going to play out over their yos. Apparently I will, I will do an episode of one of the Ankara is because they are fascinated to me, I see the appeal for you of anchoresses, so
you're, a woman who really values moments of solitude. Yet I could see where you would be very, ass needed and charmed by thinking about that whole concept. Tat day, we are very interested in a lot of the like. I read an article that was sort of it. Not a scholarly article was basically somebody meditating on how kind of cool and interesting it is that during the mediaeval period, if he were o weird person, in what especially a weird woman who just wanted to be by yourself and never talk to anyone. There was this send for you, and I dont know that that's like actually an accurate reflection of what life is an act as an anchor was like, but I like you, I can see how that that would appeal to some people. Of course, there are the people who would like trying to figure out a medical explanation for held the guards, visions, and I read one article that was
Most just orients today agree that she was suffering from my grains, and I was like this is literally the only reference to migraines and everything that I helped building. Aren't the research this most historians that I think might things are made them aspirin joining us on a Saturday, since this episode is out of the archives. he heard an email address or facebook url or something similar over the course of the show that could be obsolete. Now our current email address is history. Pod cast an eye heart. Radio dot com are old, helstone, firstly, militarist, no longer works. You can find us all over social media at missed in history, and you can subscribe to our shared. Apple podcast, Google, podcast, the Iheart Radio APP and wherever else you listen, the fog guests, Stop you miss than history class
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Transcript generated on 2021-03-28.