Pope Benedict XVI and the holy women mystics in Church history

St. Hildegard of Bingen….from Pope Benedict XVI

There has been a strange dismissal of St. Hildegard over the years, and I am not sure why. This was a woman who was a great mystic, writer, poet, musician, artist…oh you name it AND a Benedictine nun!  Maybe this distancing of Catholics from her is in part because of New Agers, like Anglican Episcopal priest Matthew Fox, […]

St. Hildegard…once again Pope Benedict XVI speaks

Once again the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI speaks of the importance of St. Hildegard of Bingen. Vatican City – Pope Benedict’s General Audience from Vatican.va Dear Brothers and Sisters, Today I would like to take up and continue my Reflection on St Hildegard of Bingen, an important female figure of the Middle Ages who […]

Pope Benedict XVI reflects on “the great” St. Clare of Assisi

Vatican City, Sep 15, 2010 Pope Benedict’s General Audience, from Vatican.va Saint Clare of Assisi Dear Brothers and Sisters, One of the best loved Saints is without a doubt St Clare of Assisi who lived in the 13th century and was a contemporary of St Francis. Her testimony shows us how indebted the Church is […]

St. Matilda, God’s Nightingale, pray for us

  Describing the exemplary life of a 13th-century German nun, Pope Benedict XVIstressed the importance of liturgy in building a close relationship with God. VATICAN CITY, 29 SEP 2010  Pope Benedict’s General Audience vatican.va Dear Brothers and Sisters, Today I want to talk to you about St Matilda of Hackeborn, one of the great figures […]

St. Gertrude the Great, “a very powerful champion of justice and truth

BENEDICT XVI GENERAL AUDIENCE (the entire text translated in English) from vatican.va Dear Brothers and Sisters, St Gertrude the Great, of whom I would like to talk to you today, brings us once again this week to the Monastery of Helfta, where several of the Latin-German masterpieces of religious literature were written by women. Gertrude […]

Blessed Angela of Foligno – once again our Holy Father brings us a gifted mystic

Thank God for our Holy  Father, Pope Benedict XVI, and his desire to teach us about the heritage contained in our faith.  I love it now, because once again he is lifting up one of the truly gifted women mystics of the Church for all of us to learn from.  I didn’t know much about her, […]

St. Elizabeth of Hungary “It Is Christ Whom You Have Washed, Fed and Looked After”

From Pope Benedict’s General Wednesday Audience from Vatican.va Dear Brothers and Sisters, Today I would like to speak to you about one of the women of the Middle Ages who inspired the greatest admiration; she is St Elizabeth of Hungary, also called St Elizabeth of Thuringia. Elizabeth was born in 1207; historians dispute her birthplace. […]

St. Bridget of Sweden…a “powerful example of feminine sanctity”

On the eve of the Great Jubilee in anticipation of the Year 2000 the Venerable Servant of God John Paul II proclaimed St Bridget of Sweden Co-Patroness of the whole of Europe. This morning I would like to present her, her message and the reasons why — still today — this holy woman has much to teach the Church and the world.

We are well acquainted with the events of St Bridget’s life because her spiritual fathers compiled her biography in order to further the process of her canonization immediately after her death in 1373. Bridget was born 70 years earlier, in 1303, in Finster, Sweden, a Northern European nation that for three centuries had welcomed the Christian faith with the same enthusiasm as that with which the Saint had received it from her parents, very devout people who belonged to noble families closely related to the reigning house.

St. Marguerite d’Oingt – A “book lover” after my own heart

From Pope Benedict’s General Audience from vatican.va With Marguerite d’Oingt, of whom I would like to speak to you today, we are introduced to Carthusian spirituality which draws its inspiration from the evangelical synthesis lived and proposed by St Bruno. We do not know the date of her birth, although some place it around 1240. […]

Saint Juliana of Liège, patron of the feast of Corpus Christi (now there is a dream job to have…forever!)

According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, the origins of Corpus Christi can be traced to St. Juliana of Mount Cornillon. From Pope Benedict’s General Audience from vatican.va Dear Brothers and Sisters, This morning too I would like to introduce a female figure to you. She is little known but the Church is deeply indebted to her, […]

St. Catherine of Siena, our spiritual “mamma”, teach us to love Christ and the Church with courage

Vatican City –From Pope Benedict’s Wednesday General Audience from vatican.va Dear Brothers and Sisters, Today I would like to talk to you about a woman who played an eminent role in the history of the Church: St Catherine of Siena. The century in which she lived — the 14th — was a troubled period in […]

Julian of Norwich – “God’s Promises Are Always Greater Than Our Hopes”

“God’s Promises Are Always Greater Than Our Hopes” VATICAN CITY, DEC. 1, 2010 (vatican.va).- Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI gave today during the general audience in Paul VI Hall. Dear Brothers and Sisters, I still remember with great joy the Apostolic Journey I made in the United Kingdom last September. England is […]

St. Veronica Giuliani – “a courageous witness of the beauty and power of divine Love”

“In an instant, I saw five brilliant rays of light shine forth from his most holy wounds, and all came to my face.” St. Veronica Giuliani wrote these words more than three centuries ago, describing her mystical experience of Christ. Vatican City, Dec 15, 2010 / 07:37 pm (vatican.va).- Dear Brothers and Sisters, Today I […]

Saint Catherine of Bologna: Spiritual Weapons Against Evil

From Pope Benedict XVI’s audience:

In her autobiographical and didactic treatise, The Seven Spiritual Weapons, Catherine offers in this regard teaching of deep wisdom and profound discernment. She speaks in the third person in reporting the extraordinary graces which the Lord gives to her and in the first person in confessing her sins. From her writing transpires the purity of her faith in God, her profound humility, the simplicity of her heart, her missionary zeal, her passion for the salvation of souls. She identifies seven weapons in the fight against evil, against the devil:

1. always to be careful and diligently strive to do good;

2. to believe that alone we will never be able to do something truly good;

3. to trust in God and, for love of him, never to fear in the battle against evil, either in the world or within ourselves;

4. to meditate often on the events and words of the life of Jesus, and especially on his Passion and his death;

5. to remember that we must die;

6. to focus our minds firmly on memory of the goods of Heaven;

7. to be familiar with Sacred Scripture, always cherishing it in our hearts so that it may give direction to all our thoughts and all our actions.

A splendid program of spiritual life, today too, for each one of us!

St. Catherine of Genoa and the Experience of Purgatory

VATICAN CITY, 12 JAN 2011 (vatican.va) – Dear Brothers and Sisters,     After Catherine of Siena and Catherine of Bologna, today I would like to speak to you about another Saint: Catherine of Genoa, known above all for her vision of purgatory. The text that describes her life and thought was published in this Ligurian city […]

St. Joan of Arc “Bringing the Light of the Gospel Into History”

< VATICAN CITY, 26 JAN 2011 (vatican.va) – Today I would like to talk to you about Joan of Arc, a young Saint who lived at the end of the Middle Ages who died at the age of 19, in 1431. This French Saint, mentioned several times in theCatechism of the Catholic Church, is particularly […]

St. Teresa of Avila shows that time spent in prayer is not lost

TERESA OF AVILA: CONTEMPLATIVE AND INDUSTRIOUS VATICAN CITY, 2 FEB 2011 (vatican.va) – Dear Brothers and Sisters, In the course of the Catecheses that I have chosen to dedicate to the Fathers of the Church and to great theologians and women of the Middle Ages I have also had the opportunity to reflect on certain […]