Saint Hildegard of Bingen


Saint Hildegard of Bingen, 1098–1179
September 17

Saint Hildegard was an abbess, the head of a group of nuns, in Bingen, Germany. At a time when few women could read or write, Hildegard could do both. Her curiosity and love for God’s creation led her to study nature. She wrote and illustrated books on gardening and herbal medicine. Hildegard knew that when you care for God’s creation, you share in his plan for the entire world. She also composed music and painted pictures inspired by her love of nature.

Discuss: What part of creation leaves you most amazed at God's love?

Along with her books and hymns, Saint Hildegard wrote many letters, articles, poems, and even wrote a play. Her collected letters make up some of the largest amount we have from the Middle Ages. She traveled to many places to speak to noblemen, scholars, and religious people. Hildegard is considered a Doctor of the Church because her writings influenced Church teachings. The Republic of Germany issued a commemorative coin on the 900th anniversary of Hildegard’s birth, in 1998.


Explain that Saint Hildegard of Bingen taught us to care for God’s creation. One way to care for God’s creation is to recycle instead of expanding our landfills with more trash.

  • Have your child list things that can be recycled in your home and at school.
  • If you are already recycling, ask your child to circle the items from the list that your family regularly recycles. Discuss whether you can do better or if you can add anything to your current plan.
  • If you are not yet recycling, help your child write a plan for ways that your family can begin to recycle moving forward.
  • Together, present the plan to the rest of the family and add their ideas or suggestions so that everyone feels like they are a part of the process, which will make them more likely to participate.