Pilgrimage – Day 7

Claiming the Prophetic Voice

“Call us to hear the voices that challenge
deep in the hearts of all people.
By serving your world
as lovers and dreamers
We become voices that challenge
For we are the voice of God.”

- David Haas, refrain from Voices that Challenge


The prophetess Hildegard found her voice and challenged the likes of priests and bishops, emperor and pope.

We spent time with medieval historian Barbara and toured Kloster Eberbach (a 12th century monastery, now museum, where many scenes from the Hildegard movie “Vision” were filmed). In the afternoon we traveled to the ruins of Kaiserpflalz in Ingelheim - the palace of Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, one of the few places still existing where Hildegard would have visited.

There are over 300 letters documented from Hildegard to people of power and spiritual leaders, including Bernard of Clairvaux - no comparable collection from any other woman in the Middle Ages exists. She broke the taboo against women travelling (nuns were expected to lead a secluded life) and speaking publicly. She conducted preaching tours into her 70’s.

As Barbara said to us, Hildegard discovered the power of words and used them well as a prophetic voice!

What are the causes that call out to you? Where might you use the power of words to claim your prophetic voice?

Photos: Bronze sculpture of visionary and prophetess Hildegard at the Hildegard Forum; Kloster Eberbach.


September 9-19 Rev. Shawn is on Pilgrimage in Germany: “Hildegard of Bingen and the Greening Power of God”.

St. Hildegard was a 12th century  German Benedictine abbess. She was a mystic, composer, artist, poet, healer, and preacher. These short blog posts share some highlights from Rev Shawn’s pilgrimage.

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