Saint Hildegard of Bingen


I’ve been reading about Hildegard Von Bingen and noticed that she is not found in my Daily Roman Missal on her feast day or in the 1962 missal that I have. I looked and she is generally regarded as a saint even though she wasn’t formally canonized. I was hoping to find out why she wasn’t formally canonized and if she can still be a patron saint of someone though she was not formally canonized. Also, since she wasn’t formally canonized, why does have her in the list of saints?

Her feast day is September 17th

I’m confused!



the feast is the day of her death, common practice, but is not on the universal calendar, being celebrated formally only in some German dioceses, which is why you won’t see it in your own missal.


A bit like St Christopher.

There are over 10,000 recognised Saints in the Catholic Church - there is simply no room to celebrate each and every one of them on their feast days! So some commemorations are optional, and others are simply not on the UNIVERSAL calendar, although they are (or may be) recognised locally - such as in churches named after them, places of which they are patrons and so on.

So you can bet in the town of Bingen (I’ve been through it, it’s a lovely place on the Rhine river in Germany) they’ll be celebrating their backsides off on St Hildegard’s feast day, and you can absolutely join them if you’re so moved :egyptian:


I like her, but be careful: from what I’ve read, she’s been she’s been adopted so some degree by the new agers, so not everything you find in print about her is trustworthy.


Thank you so much. I’ve noticed that, as well. I take the information that is in line with the church.

Thank you again for your help.



Alaina - I’ve just noticed that there were several parts to your question. I’ll try to answer some of the others.

About the lack of formal canonisation - for many centuries (in fact not until well after St Hildegard’s time) the Church didn’t have a formal process whereby bishops or the Vatican declared a saint to be canonised.

Canonisation in these times was often done simply by public acclaim - if enough people thought someone was a saint and venerated them as such, then it was simply accepted that they were in heaven.

As a result, many many saints were never formally canonised by the sort of process gone through today. These include all the Apostles, along with St Hildegard, and more controversially Sts Christoper, Philomena and George - and Nicholas (Santa Claus) - who used to be celebrated universally but were removed from the Universal Calendar in the 1960s.


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