Declaration These Are True Visions Flowing from God


And behold! In the forty-third year of my earthly course, as I was gazing with great fear and trembling attention at a heavenly vision, I saw a great splendor in which  resounded a voice from Heaven, saying to me,

ET ECCE quadragesimo tertio temporalis cursus mei anno, cum caelesti uisioni magno timore et tremula intentione inhaererem, uidi maximum splendorem, in quo facta est uox de caelo ad me dicens:

“O fragile human, ashes of ashes, and filth of filth! Say and write what you see and hear. But since you are timid in speaking, and simple in expounding, and untaught in writing, speak and write these things not by a human mouth, and not by the understanding of human invention, and not by the requirements of human composition, but as you see and hear them on high in the heavenly places in the wonders of God. Explain these things in such a way 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 and hear. And write them not by yourself or any other human being, but by the will of Him Who knows, sees and disposes all things in the secrets of His mysteries.”

“O homo fragilis, et cinis cineris, et putredo putredinis, dic et scribe quae uides et audis. Sed quia timida es ad loquendum et simplex ad exponendum et indocta ad scribendum ea, dic et scribe illa non secundum os hominis nec secundum intellectum humanae adinuentionis nec secundum uoluntatem humanae compositionis, sed secundum id quod ea in caelestibus desuper in mirabilibus Dei uides et audis, ea sic edisserendo proferens, quemadmodum et auditor uerba praeceptoris sui percipiens, ea secundum tenorem locutionis illius, ipso uolente, ostendente et praecipiente propalat. Sic ergo et tu, o homo, dic ea quae uides et audis; et scribe ea non secundum te nec secundum alium hominem, sed secundum uoluntatem scientis, uidentis et disponentis omnia in secretis mysteriorum suorum.

And again I heard the voice from Heaven saying to me, “Speak therefore of these wonders, and, being so taught, write them and speak.”

Et iterum audiui uocem de caelo mihi dicentem: “Dic ergo mirabilia haec et scribe ea hoc modo edocta et dic”.

It happened that, in the eleven hundred and forty-first year of the Incarnation of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, when I was forty-two years and seven months old, Heaven was opened and a fiery light of exceeding brilliance came and permeated my whole brain, and inflamed my whole heart and my whole breast, not like a burning but like a warming flame, as the sun warms anything its rays touch. And immediately I knew the meaning of the exposition of the Scriptures, namely the Psalter, the Gospel and the other catholic volumes of both the Old and the 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. But I had sensed in myself wonderfully the power and mystery of secret and admirable visions from my childhood—that is, from the age of five—up to that time, as I do now. This, however, I showed to no one except a few religious persons who were living in the same manner as I; but meanwhile, until the time when God by His grace wished it to be manifested, I concealed it in quiet silence. But the visions I saw I did not perceive in dreams, or sleep, or delirium, or by the eyes of the body, or by the ears of the outer self, or in hidden places; but I received them while awake and seeing with a pure mind and the eyes and ears of the inner self, in open places, as God willed it. How this might be is hard for mortal flesh to understand.

Factum est in millesimo centesimo quadragesimo primo Filii Dei Iesu Christi incarnationis anno, cum quadraginta duorum annorum septem que mensium essem, maximae coruscationis igneum lumen aperto caelo ueniens totum cerebrum meum transfudit et totum cor totum que pectus meum uelut flamma non tamen ardens sed calens ita inflammauit, ut sol rem aliquam calefacit super quam radios suos ponit. Et repente intellectum expositionis librorum, uidelicet psalterii, euangelii et aliorum catholicorum tam ueteris quam noui testamenti uoluminum sapiebam, non autem interpretationem uerborum textus eorum nec diuisionem syllabarum nec cognitionem casuum aut temporum habebam. Virtutem autem et mysterium secretarum et admirandarum uisionum a puellari aetate, scilicet a tempore illo cum quinquennis essem usque ad praesens tempus mirabili modo in me senseram sicut et adhuc; quod tamen nulli hominum exceptis quibusdam paucis et religiosis qui in eadem conuersatione uiuebant, qua et ego eram, manifestaui; sed interim usque ad id temporis cum illud Deus sua gratia manifestari uoluit, sub quieto silentio depressi. Visiones uero quas uidi, non eas in somnis, nec dormiens, nec in phrenesi, nec corporeis oculis aut auribus exterioris hominis, nec in abditis locis percepi, sed eas uigilans et circumspecta in pura mente, oculis et auribus interioris hominis, in apertis locis, secundum uoluntatem Dei accepi. Quod quomodo sit, carnali homini perquirere difficile est.

But when I had passed out of childhood and had reached the age of full maturity mentioned above, I heard a voice from Heaven saying,

Sed puellari meta transacta, cum ad praefatam aetatem perfectae fortitudinis peruenissem, audiui uocem de caelo dicentem:

“I am the Living Light, Who illuminates the darkness. The person [Hildegard] whom I have chosen and whom I have miraculously stricken as I willed, I have placed among great wonders, beyond the measure of the ancient people who saw in Me many secrets; but I have laid her low on the earth, that she might not set herself up in arrogance of mind. The world has had in her no joy or lewdness or use in worldly things, for I have withdrawn her from impudent boldness, and she feels fear and is timid in her works. For she suffers in her inmost being and in the veins of her flesh; she is distressed in mind and sense and endures great pain of body, because no security has dwelt in her, but in all her undertakings she has judged herself guilty. For I have closed up the cracks in her heart that her mind may not exalt itself in pride or vainglory, but may feel fear and grief rather than joy and wantonness. Hence in My love she searched in her mind as to where she could find someone who would run in the path of salvation. And she found such a one and loved him [the monk Volmar of Disibodenberg], knowing that he was a faithful man, working like herself on another part of the work that leads to Me. And, holding fast to him, she worked with him in great zeal so that My hidden miracles might be revealed. And she did not seek to exalt herself above herself but with many sighs bowed to him whom she found in the ascent of humility and the intention of good will.

“Ego lux uiuens et obscura illuminans hominem quem uolui et quem mirabiliter secundum quod mihi placuit excussi in magnis mirabilibus trans metam antiquorum hominum, qui in me multa secreta uiderunt, posui; sed in terram straui illum, quod se non erigeret in ulla elatione mentis suae. Mundus quoque non habuit in eo gaudium nec lasciuiam nec exercitationem in rebus illis quae ad mundum pertinent, quia eum de pertinaci audacia abstraxi, timorem habentem et in laboribus suis pauentem. Ipse enim in medullis et in uenis carnis suae doluit, constrictum animum et sensum habens atque multam passionem corporis sustinens, ita quod in eo diuersa securitas non latuit, sed in omnibus causis suis se culpabilem aestimauit. Nam rimas cordis eius circumsaepsi, ne mens ipsius per superbiam aut per gloriam se eleuaret, sed ut magis in omnibus his timorem et dolorem quam gaudium aut quam petulantiam haberet. Vnde in amore meo scrutatus est in animo suo, ubi illum inueniret, qui uiam salutis curreret. Et quendam inuenit et eum amauit, agnoscens quod fidelis homo esset et similis sibi in aliqua parte laboris illius qui ad me tendit. Tenens que eum simul cum illo in omnibus his per supernum studium contendit, ut absconsa miracula mea reuelarentur. Et idem homo super semetipsum se non posuit, sed ad illum in ascensione humilitatis et in intentione bonae uoluntatis, quem inuenit, se in multis suspiriis inclinauit.

“O human, who receives these things meant to manifest what is hidden not in the disquiet of deception but in the purity of simplicity, write, therefore, the things you see and hear.”

Tu ergo, o homo, qui haec non in inquietudine deceptionis, sed in puritate simplicitatis accipis ad manifestationem absconditorum directa, scribe quae uides et audis”.

But I, though I saw and heard these things, refused to write for a long time through doubt and bad opinion and the diversity of human words, not with stubbornness but in the exercise of humility, until, laid low by the scourge of God, I fell upon a bed of sickness; then, compelled at last by many illnesses, and by the witness of a certain noble maiden of good conduct [the nun Richardis of Stade] and of that man whom I had secretly sought and found, as mentioned above, I set my hand to the writing.

Sed ego, quamuis haec uiderem et audirem, tamen propter dubietatem et malam opinionem et propter diuersitatem uerborum hominum, tamdiu non in pertinacia, sed in humilitatis officio scribere recusaui, quousque in lectum aegritudinis flagello Dei depressa caderem; ita quod tandem multis infirmitatibus compulsa, testimonio cuiusdam nobilis et bonorum morum puellae et hominis illius, quem occulte, ut praefatum est, quaesieram et inueneram, manus ad scribendum apposui.

While I was doing it, I sensed, as I mentioned before, the deep profundity of scriptural exposition ; and, raising myself from illness by the strength I received, I brought this work to a close—though just barely—in ten years.

Quod dum facerem, altam profunditatem expositionis librorum, ut praedixi, sentiens, uiribus que receptis de aegritudine me erigens, uix opus istud decem annis consummans ad finem perduxi.

These visions took place and these words were written in the days of Henry, Archbishop of Mainz, and of Conrad, King of the Romans, and of Cuno, Abbot of Disibodenberg, under Pope Eugenius.

In diebus Heinrici moguntini archiepiscopi et Conradi Romanorum regis et Cunonis abbatis in monte beati Disibodi pontificis, sub papa Eugenio, hae uisiones et uerba facta sunt.

And I spoke and wrote these things not by the invention of my heart or that of any other person, but as by the secret mysteries of God I heard and received them in the heavenly places.

Et dixi et scripsi haec non secundum adinuentionem cordis mei aut ullius hominis, sed ut ea in caelestibus uidi, audiui et percepi per secreta mysteria Dei.

And again I heard a voice from Heaven saying to me, “Cry out therefore, and write thus!”

Et iterum audiui uocem de caelo mihi dicentem: “Clama ergo et scribe sic”.

Scivias. Contributors: Mother Columba Hart - transltr, Jane Bishop - transltr, Barbara J. Newman - unknown, Caroline Walker Bynum - unknown. Publisher: Paulist Press. Place of Publication: New York. Publication Year: 199O. Page Number: 65.





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