About Me

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I am a medievalist and an adjunct college instructor in the humanities at Union College. My research includes medieval theologies of history, text/image relationships in visionary and mystical texts, and the writings of the twelfth-century Doctor of the Church, St. Hildegard of Bingen. I am also a translator of medieval Latin and German texts, especially as relate to my research. I completed a Master's in Medieval Studies at the University of Notre Dame in 2010, a Fulbright Fellowship in Germany in 2008, and a B.A. in Classics and German at Boston College in 2007.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Cum processit factura (Symphonia 13)

For the Octave of the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
An Antiphon by St. Hildegard of Bingen [1]


Scivias I.2: The Fall.
Rupertsberg MS,
fol. 4r.
Cum processit factura
digiti Dei,
formata
ad imaginem Dei
in ortu mixti sanguinis
per peregrinationem
casus Ade,
elementa susceperunt gaudia in te, 
o laudabilis Maria,
celo rutilante
et in laudibus sonante.
Although the craft
of God’s extended finger,
created in
God’s image,
came forth in birth of blood commingled,
in pilgrimage exiled
by Adam’s fall;
the elements received their joys in you,
O Mary, worthy of our praise,
as heaven gleams with rubied light
and echoes gladsome shouts of praise.

Friday, August 15, 2014

O quam magnum miraculum (Symphonia 16)

For the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
An Antiphon by St. Hildegard of Bingen[1]


Virgin Mary, Queen of Heavens'
Symphony, Scivias III.13
Rupertsberg MS, fol. 229r
O quam magnum miraculum est  
quod in subditam femineam
formam rex
introivit.
Hoc Deus fecit quia humilitas
super omnia ascendit.
Et o quam magna felicitas
est in ista forma,
quia malicia,
que de femina fluxit hanc
femina postea
     detersit
et omnem suavissimum
odorem virtutum edificavit
ac celum ornavit
plus quam terram prius
turbavit.
How great the wonder is!
Into the female form subdued
the King
has come.
This God has done, for meekness
mounts o’er all.
And O how great the happiness
is in that form,
for malice,
which from a woman flowed—
a woman then this malice wiped
     away,
and ev’ry sweet
perfume of virtues she has raised—
the heavens graced
far more than e’er the earth
in chaos cast.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

O viriditas digiti Dei (Symphonia 42)

For the Octave of St. Disibod, a Responsory by St. Hildegard of Bingen[1]

St. Disibod
Oil on canvas, 17th c.
(From Colonial Art)
V. O viriditas digiti Dei,
in qua Deus constituit
     plantationem
que in excelso resplendent
     ut statuta columna:

R. Tu gloriosa in
preparatione Dei.

V. Et o altitudo montis
que numquam dissipaberis
in discretione Dei,
tu tamen stas a longe ut exul,
sed non est in potestate armati   
qui te rapiat.
V. O fresh viridity of God’s creative finger,
in which God planted his
     green vineyard
that glistens in the heights,
     a lofty pillar:

R. How glorious you are
as you prepare for God!

V. And O, the mountain’s height!
O never shall you be laid low
at God’s discerning judgment—
no, you stand yet afar, an exile,
but not ensnared by that brigand’s power
who snatches after you.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

O mirum admirandum (Symphonia 41)

For the Feast of St. Disibod, an Antiphon by St. Hildegard of Bingen[1]

“The Ruins of the Disibodenberg
Monastery,” Lithograph, 1833.
From Gemeinfrei IGL-Bildarchiv.
O mirum admirandum quod   
absconsa forma precellit
     ardua
in honesta statura,
ubi vivens altitudo
profert mistica.
Unde, o Disibode,
surges in fine,
succurrente flore
omnium ramorum
     mundi,
ut primum surrexisti.
O wonder, O how wondrous!
A hidden form, so hard, so high,
     so steep,
surpasses in its lofty honor—
where Living Height itself
reveals the mysteries.
And so, O Disibod,
you shall arise at th’ end of time
as first you rose—
the flow’r of all the branches
     of the world
comes to your aid.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

O vos felices radices (Symphonia 32)

For the Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist,
A Responsory for Patriarchs and Prophets by St. Hildegard of Bingen [1]


Scivias III.13: Symphonia in
Heaven: Choir of Patriarchs
and Prophets (detail).
Rupertsberg MS, fol. 229r
V. O vos felices radices
cum quibus opus miraculorum  
et non opus criminum
per torrens iter
perspicue umbre
plantatum est,
et o tu ruminans ignea vox,
precurrens limantem lapidem
subvertentem abyssum:

R. Gaudete in capite vestro.

V. Gaudete
in illo quem non viderunt
in terris multi
qui ipsum ardenter vocaverunt.

R. Gaudete in capite vestro.
V. O merry roots,
with whom the work of miracles—
but not the work of crimes—
was planted by a journey
rushing, tearing forth,
a path of shade perlucid;
and you, O voice of ruminating fire,
forerunner of the Rock that grinds
to polish and to topple the abyss:

R. Rejoice in him, your captain!

V. Rejoice
in him whom most on earth
have never seen—
yet ardently have called upon.

R. Rejoice in him, your captain!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

An Explanation of the Athanasian Creed

Explanatio Symboli Sancti Athanasii by St. Hildegard of Bingen

This treatise can also be viewed and downloaded as a PDF here.

Introduction

Scivias II.2: The Trinity.
Rupertsberg MS, fol. 47r.
Hildegard composed this commentary on the Pseudo-Athanasian Creed as part of a series of shorter works written in the early 1170’s in response to a letter from her secretary and provost, Volmar, expressing on behalf of her community of nuns their anxiety that, as the Visionary Doctor entered her seventies, she would not be long for the earth. The letter draws a particularly striking contrast between the vanities of scholastic disputes and the truly divine teaching with which Hildegard had been inspired. Hildegard’s response to this letter is preserved in the manuscripts as the preface to her Explanatio Symboli Sancti Athanasii.[1] She likely chose to write a commentary on this standard liturgical text because its treatment of “the catholic faith” offered her a structure on which to provide her community a summary of her most characteristic thoughts about the relationship between the triune divinity and its work of creation, with humankind at its center.

Sunday, June 08, 2014

O ignis Spiritus Paracliti (Symphonia 28)

For Pentecost, a Sequence for the Holy Spirit by St. Hildegard of Bingen[1]

Pentecost, from the
Ingeborg Psalter, ca. 1195
(Web Gallery of Art)
1a. O ignis Spiritus Paracliti,    
vita vite omnis creature,
sanctus es vivificando
     formas.

1b. Sanctus es ungendo
      periculose
fractos, sanctus es
      tergendo
fetida vulnera.
1a. O fire of the Spirit and Defender,
the life of every life created:
Holy are you—giving life
     to all the forms.

1b. Holy are you—anointing to heal
      those danger
has broken. Holy are you—cleansing
      to clean
the festering wounds.

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Fundamentum Ecclesiae solum

“The Church’s One Foundation,” translated into Latin
in the style of St. Hildegard of Bingen
Scivias II.3:
The Church & Christ.
Rupertsberg MS, fol. 51r.


1. The Church’s one foundation
Is Jesus Christ her Lord,
She is His new creation
By water and the Word.
From heav’n He came and sought her  
To be His holy bride;
With His own blood He bought her
And for her life He died.
1. Fundamentum Ecclesiae solum
est Christus eius Dominus,
quam novam creaturam facit
per aquam atque Verbum,
de caelo veniens et eam requirens
quam sanctam sibi desponsavit
et suo sanguine redemit,
cui vitam morte dedit.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Alleluia! O virga mediatrix (Symphonia 18)

For the Octave of Easter, an Alleluia-verse for the Virgin
by St. Hildegard of Bingen[1]


Initial F: Tree of Jesse
Stammheim / Hildesheim
Missal (ca. 1160-70), fol. 146r.
J. Paul Getty Museum
Alleluia!
O virga mediatrix,
sancta viscera tua
mortem superaverunt
et venter tuus omnes creaturas    
illuminavit in pulcro flore
de suavissima integritate
clausi pudoris tui orto.
Alleluia!
O branch and mediatrix,
your sacred flesh
has conquered death,
your womb the world illumined,
all creatures in the bloom of beauty
sprung from that exquisite purity
of your enclosèd modesty.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Nunc gaudeant materna (Symphonia 67)

For Easter, the Resurrection of the Lord, an Antiphon for the Church
by St. Hildegard of Bingen[1]


Scivias II.3:
Mother Church & Baptism.
Rupertsberg MS, fol. 51r.
Nunc gaudeant materna viscera
     Ecclesie,
quia in superna simphonia
     filii eius
in sinum suum collocati sunt.
Unde, o turpissime serpens,
     confusus es,
quoniam quos tua estimatio
     in visceribus
     suis habuit
nunc fulgent in sanguine
     Filii Dei,
et ideo laus tibi sit, Rex altissime.  
     Alleluia.
Now let the womb and heart
     of Mother Church rejoice!
For in the starry symphony
     her children
are gathered to her bosom.
O vile snake, you are
     confounded,
for those your hollow jealousy
     had thought
     it clutched within its guts
now sparkle in the blood
     of God’s own Son—
praise be to you, the highest King!
     Alleluia!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Service and Sacrifice: A Friend and the Memorial of His Love

Bronze sculpture at
Church Street UMC.
You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you…
This I command you, to love one another.

     —John 15:14-17

We know that Jesus should be our role-model in service, but it’s often difficult to know just which Jesus we’re supposed to follow. The teacher, the healer, the broken, dying man—or the Christ and Son of God, Lord of Heaven and Earth? Some of these roles are easier to imitate than others, and we struggle to hold them all together. Jesus’ disciples, too, often struggled to understand just what it meant for their wise and compassionate teacher to be both Messiah and bound to die.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

O virgo Ecclesia (Symphonia 66)

For Holy Week, an Antiphon for the Church by St. Hildegard of Bingen[1]

Scivias II.6: The Crucifixion.
Rupertsberg MS, fol. 86rr.
O virgo Ecclesia,
plangendum est,
quod sevissimus lupus filios tuos  
de latere tuo abstraxit.
O ve callido serpenti!
Sed o quam preciosus est
      sanguis Salvatoris,
qui in vexillo regis
Ecclesiam ipsi
     desponsavit,
unde filios
illius requirit.
O Virgin Mother Church,
lament and mourn!
A savage wolf has snatched
your children from your side.
O woe to serpent’s trickery!
But O, how precious is
      the Savior’s blood
that with the royal banner sealed
his bridegroom’s promise
     to the Church,
whose children
he is seeking.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

O spectabiles viri (Symphonia 31)

For the Feast of the Prophet Ezekiel, an Antiphon for Patriarchs and Prophets
by St. Hildegard of Bingen [1]


Scivias III.4: The Pillar
of the Word of God.
Rupertsberg MS, fol. 145v.
O spectabiles viri
qui pertransistis occulta,
aspicientes per oculos spiritus
et annuntiantes
in lucida umbra
acutam et viventem lucem
in virga germinantem,
que sola floruit
de introitu radicantis luminis:

Vos antiqui sancti,
predixistis salvationem
exulum animarum
que inmerse fuerant morti,
qui circuisti ut rote,
mirabiliter loquentes
     mistica montis
qui celum tangit,
pertransiens ungendo
     multas aquas,
cum etiam inter vos
surrexit lucida lucerna,
que ipsum montem precurrens    
     ostendit.
O men of sight—what a sight!
Through mysteries you’ve passed
with gaze of spirit’s eyes,
to announce
in shining shadow
a living, piercing light
that buds upon that single branch
that flourished at
the entrance of deep-rooted light:

You saints of old!
You have foretold salvation
of souls in exile plunged,
in death immersed.
You circled, spun like wheels
as wondrously proclaimed
     the mountain’s mysteries
whose top the heavens touched
and passed through many waters
     with anointing—
yet still among you
arose a shining lamp
that raced ahead, that mountain
     to reveal.

Friday, April 04, 2014

O successores (Symphonia 40)

For the Feast of St. Isidore of Seville, an Antiphon for Confessors
by St. Hildegard of Bingen [1]


Initial D: Lion of Judah
Stammheim / Hildesheim
Missal (ca. 1160-70), fol. 111v.
J. Paul Getty Museum
O successores fortissimi leonis,
inter templum et altare
dominantes in ministratione eius  
sicut angeli sonant in laudibus
et sicut assunt populis
     in adiutorio,
vos estis inter illos
qui hec faciunt,
semper curam habentes
     in officio Agni.
Successors of the mighty Lion,
between the temple and the altar
commanding in his service:
as angels sing in praise resounding
and quicken to defend the people
     with their aid—
so you among them,
as they go about their lives,
keep carefully the office
     of the Lamb.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

O tu illustrata (Symphonia 23)

For the Feast of the Annunciation, an Antiphon for the Virgin
by St. Hildegard of Bingen[1]


Chastity, from
Scivias III.8: The Pillar
of the Savior's Humanity.
Rupertsberg MS, fol. 178r.
O tu illustrata
de divina claritate,
clara Virgo Maria,
Verbo Dei infusa,
unde venter tuus floruit
de introitu Spiritus Dei,
qui in te sufflavit
et in te exsuxit
quod Eva abstulit
in abscisione puritatis,
per contractam contagionem       
de suggestione diaboli.
Illumined by
God’s clearest brightness,
O Virgin Mary bright,
and flooded with the Word of God:
your womb then flourished at
the entrance of God’s Spirit—
he breathed within you,
within drew out
the loss of Eve,
a purity cut off and silenced
by that disease contracted
at the Devil’s sly persuasion.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

O vos imitatores (Symphonia 39)

For the Feast of Pope St. Gregory the Great, a Responsory for Confessors
by St. Hildegard of Bingen [1]


Scivias II.6: Eucharist.
Rupertsberg MS, fol. 86v.
V. O vos imitatores
     excelse persone
in preciosissima
et gloriosissima significatione,     
o quam magnus est
     vester ornatus,
ubi homo procedit,
solvens et stringens in Deo
pigros et peregrinos,

R. etiam ornans
     candidos et nigros
et magna onera
remittens.
V. O actors, you who play
     the Highest Role
within that precious drama,
that glorious sacrament!
How great and beautiful
     your vested costume,
as steps forth such a man
to loose and bind in God
the slacker and sojourner,

R. the shining and the squalid
     both to beautify
and all their heavy burdens
to remit.

Friday, March 07, 2014

Vos flores rosarum (Symphonia 38)

For the Feast of Sts. Perpetua and Felicity, a Responsory for Martyrs
by St. Hildegard of Bingen[1]


Agony in the Garden.
Drawing from the Abbey of
St. Walburg, Eichstätt, ca. 1500.
(From J. Hamburger,
Nuns as Artists, plate 8)
V. Vos flores rosarum,
qui in effusione sanguinis vestri  
beati estis in maximis gaudiis,
redolentibus et sudantibus
in emptione
que fluxit de interiori mente
consilii manentis ante evum

R. in illo,
in quo non erat constitutio
a capite.

V. Sit honor in consortio vestro,  
qui estis instrumentum ecclesie
et qui in vulneribus
vestri sanguinis undatis:

R. In illo,
in quo non erat constitutio
a capite.
V. You blooms of roses,
within your blood outpoured
you’re blessed in joys supreme—
the fragrance and distilled perfume
of that redemption
that flowed from th’ inmost heart
of counsel kept before all time

R. in him
who was unfounded
at the start.

V. An honor in your fellowship!
The Church’s instrument you are
as in your wounds, your waves
of blood, you surge and gush:

R. in him
who was unfounded
at the start.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Cum erubuerint infelices (Symphonia 14)

For Ash Wednesday, an Antiphon for the Virgin by St. Hildegard of Bingen[1]

Scivias I.2: The Fall.
Rupertsberg MS, fol. 4r.
Cum erubuerint infelices
in progenie sua,
procedentes in peregrinatione       
     casus,
tunc tu clamas clara voce,
hoc modo homines elevans
de isto malicioso
casu.
While downcast parents blushed,
ashamed to see their offspring
wand’ring off into the fallen exile’s
     pilgrimage,
you cry aloud with crystal voice,
to lift up humankind
from that malicious
fall.

Cum erubuerint by Sequentia on Grooveshark

Sunday, February 23, 2014

O victoriosissimi triumphatores (Symphonia 37)

For the Feast of St. Polycarp of Smyrna, Bishop and Martyr,
An Antiphon for Martyrs by St. Hildegard of Bingen [1]


Scivias III.13: Symphonia in
Heaven: Choir of Martyrs.
Rupertsberg MS, fol. 229r
(detail)
O victoriosissimi triumphatores,
qui in effusione sanguinis vestri
salutantes edificationem
ecclesie,
intrastis
sanguinem Agni,
epulantes
cum vitulo occiso:

O quam magnam mercedem habetis,  
quia corpora vestra
viventes despexistis,
imitantes Agnum Dei,
ornantes penam eius,
in qua vos introduxit
in restaurationem hereditatis.
O victors in your triumph!
Your blood poured out,
you hail the building of
the Church—
for you have entered in
the Lamb’s own blood,
and now enjoy the feast
with the slaughtered calf.

How great is your reward!
Your living bodies
you’ve despised
in imitation of God’s Lamb—
his pain you take as glory,
for in it he has brought you
to your inheritance restored!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

O virga ac diadema (Symphonia 20)

For the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes,
A Sequence for the Virgin by St. Hildegard of Bingen[1]


Virgin Mary, Queen of Heavens'
Symphony. Scivias III.13,
Rupertsberg MS, fol. 229r
1a. O virga ac diadema
purpure regis que es
in clausura tua
sicut lorica:

1b. Tu frondens floruisti
in alia vicissitudine
quam Adam omne genus       
humanum produceret.
1a. O branch and diadem,
in royal purple clad, who in
your cloister strong
stand like a shield:

1b. You burst forth blooming
but with buds
quite different than Adam’s progeny—
th’ entire human race.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

O clarissima mater (Symphonia 9)

For the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin Mary and the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple, a Responsory for the Virgin by St. Hildegard of Bingen[1]

Scivias II.6: Virgin Mother
Church offers the Eucharist.
Rupertsberg MS, fol. 86r
(detail).
V. O clarissima
mater sancte medicine,
tu ungenta
per sanctum Filium tuum
infudisti
in plangentia vulnera mortis,     
que Eva edificavit
in tormenta animarum.
Tu destruxisti mortem,
edificando vitam.

R. Ora pro nobis
ad tuum natum,
stella maris, Maria.
V. O radiant bright,
O mother of a holy medicine,
your ointments
through your holy Son
you’ve poured
upon the plangent wounds of death,
by Eve constructed
as torture chambers of the soul.
This death you have destroyed
by building life.

R. Pray for us
to your child,
O sea star Mary.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

O nobilissima viriditas (Symphonia 56)

For the Feast of St. Agnes, Virgin and Martyr,
A Responsory for Virgins by St. Hildegard of Bingen [1]


Scivias II.5: Virginitas
& the Orders of the Church.
Rupertsberg MS, fol. 66r
(detail)
V. O nobilissima viriditas,
que radicas in sole
et que in candida serenitate
luces in rota
quam nulla terrene excellentia    
comprehendit:

R. Tu circumdata es
amplexibus divinorum
ministeriorum.

V. Tu rubes ut aurora
et ardes ut solis flamma.

R. Tu circumdata es
amplexibus divinorum
ministeriorum.
V. O noblest, freshest green, viridity
you are, deep rooted in the sun
and shining bright in clearest calm
within a wheel
no earthly excellence
can comprehend:

R. You are contained within
the embraces of the service,
the ministries divine.

V. As morning’s dawn you blush,
as sunny flame you burn.

R. You are contained within
the embraces of the service,
the ministries divine.

Monday, January 13, 2014

O magna res (Symphonia R 407ra)

For the Octave of the Epiphany, a Verse for the Incarnate Word
and His Virgin Mother by St. Hildegard of Bingen [1]


Hand of God. Frontispiece,
Uta Codex, ca. 1025.
Munich, Staatsbibliothek
MS Clm 13601, fol. 1v.
1a. O magna res
que in nullo constituto latuit,   
ita quod non est facta
nec creata ab ullo,
sed in se ipsa permanet.

lb. O vita
que surrexisti in aurora,
in qua magnus rex
     sapientiam
que in antiquo
apud virum sapientem fuit
misericorditer manifestavit,
quia mulier per foramen
     antiqui perditoris
mortem intravit.
1a. O greatness that
no creature formed could hide—
not made indeed,
created not by anyone,
within itself alone abides.

1b. O life
that rose upon the dawn,
the dayspring when
     the mighty King
in mercy made his Wisdom known—
of old she dwelt
together with the sage—
for once a woman entered death
through the ancient slayer’s
     darkened door.

Monday, January 06, 2014

O quam preciosa (Symphonia 22)

For the Feast of the Epiphany, a Responsory for the Virgin
by St. Hildegard of Bingen[1]


Nativity of the Lord.
Stammheim / Hildesheim
Missal (ca. 1160-70), fol. 92r.
J. Paul Getty Museum
V. O quam preciosa est
virginitas virginis huius
que clausam portam habet,     
et cuius viscera
sancta divinitas calore suo
infudit, ita quod flos
     in ea crevit.

R. Et Filius Dei
     per secreta ipsius
quasi aurora exivit.

V. Unde dulce germen,
quod Filius ipsius est,
per clausuram ventris eius
paradisum aperuit.

R. Et Filius Dei
     per secreta ipsius
quasi aurora exivit.
V. How precious is
this Virgin’s sweet virginity,
her gate kept closed,
her womb
divinity most holy with its warmth
has flooded so a flower sprung
     within it.

R. The Son of God's come forth
from her most secret chamber
     like the dawn.

V. And so the sweet and tender shoot—
her Son—
has through her womb’s enclosure
opened Paradise.

R. The Son of God's come forth
from her most secret chamber
     like the dawn.

Friday, December 27, 2013

O speculum columbe (Symphonia 35)

An Antiphon for the Feast of St. John the Apostle and Evangelist
by St. Hildegard of Bingen[1]


St. John, the beloved disciple,
resting with Jesus.
Andachtsbild, carved and
painted wood, ca. 1320.
From the Dominican convent
in Sankt-Katharinenthal
(Switzerland).
Museum Mayer van den Bergh,
Antwerp / Web Gallery of Art.
O speculum columbe
castissime forme,
qui inspexisti misticam
     largitatem
in purissimo fonte:

O mira floriditas
que numquam arescens cecidisti,  
quia altissimus plantator
     misit te:

O suavissima quies
amplexuum solis:
tu es specialis filius Agni
in electa amicicia
nove sobolis.
O mirror of the dove—
the perfect form of chastity—
you gazed upon the mystic
     bounty
within the clearest font:

O wondrous, flourished bloom
that never withered, never fell—
the Gardener on high
     has sent you forth:

O sweet repose
of sunshine’s warm embrace:
the Lamb’s especial son you are
within that privileged friendship of
a new posterity.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

O factura Dei (Symphonia R 405rb)

For Christmas, the Nativity of the Lord, a Verse on the Incarnation
by St. Hildegard of Bingen[1]


God enthroned upon
the mountain, with
Fear of the Lord (L)
& Poor in Spirit (R),
Scivias I.1.
Rupertsberg MS,
fol. 2r.
O factura Dei que es homo,
in magna sanctitate edificata es,
quia sancta divinitas
in humilitate celos penetravit.
O quam magna pietas est
quod in limo terre deitas claruit,    
et quod angeli Deo ministrantes
Deum in humanitate vident.
O what a work of God you are, O human,
forged and established in great holiness—
for now divinity most holy has
the heavens pierced in your humility.
How great indeed that loving kindness is,
as in the earthy clay the Godhead beamed,
the angels in their ministry to God
see now that God within humanity.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

O splendidissima gemma (Symphonia 10)

For the Fourth Sunday in Advent, an Antiphon for the Virgin
by St. Hildegard of Bingen[1]


Scivias I.4:
Conception of
Soul and Body.
Rupertsberg MS,
fol. 22r (detail)
O splendidissima gemma
et serenum decus solis
qui tibi infusus est,
fons saliens
de corde Patris,
quod est unicum Verbum suum,
     per quod creavit
mundi primam materiam,
quam Eva turbavit.

Hoc Verbum effabricavit
tibi Pater hominem,
et ob hoc es tu illa
     lucida materia
per quam hoc ipsum Verbum
     exspiravit
omnes virtutes,
     ut eduxit
in prima materia omnes creaturas. 
O jewel resplendent
and bright and joyous beauty of the sun
that’s flooded into you—
the fountain leaping
from the Father’s heart.
This is his single Word
     by which he did create
the world’s primordial matter,
a motherhood into confusion cast by Eve.

This Word the Father made
for you into a man—
and this is why you are that bright
     and shining matter,
through which that Word
     has breathed
forth every virtue’s pow’r,
     as he brought forth
all creatures in a primal motherhood.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

O Verbum Patris (Symphonia R 404va)

A Verse for Word and Wisdom by St. Hildegard of Bingen[1]

Scivias II.1: Creation
Rupertsberg MS,
fol. 41v (detail)
O Verbum Patris,
tu lumen prime aurore
in circulo rote es,
omnia in divina vi operans.
O tu prescientia Dei,
omnia opera tua previdisti,
sicut voluisti,
ita quod in medio potencie tue latuit   
quod omnia prescivisti,
et operatus es
quasi in similitudine rote
cuncta circueuntis,
que inicium non accepit
nec in fine prostrata est.
O Word of the Father,
you are the first dawn’s light
within the circuit of the wheel,
performing all in energy divine.
O God’s foreknowledge,
you have foreseen your every deed
according to your will—
all that you have foreknown lay held
within your power’s heart.
Your working is
as like a wheel
that all encompasses—
beginning kept it not
nor ever was it wound down to an end.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Ave generosa (Symphonia 17)

For the Third Sunday in Advent, a Hymn for the Virgin
by St. Hildegard of Bingen[1]


Virgin Mary, Queen of Heavens'
Symphony, Scivias III.13
Rupertsberg MS, fol. 229r
1. Ave generosa,
gloriosa et intacta puella.
Tu pupilla castitatis,
tu materia sanctitatis,
que Deo placuit.

2. Nam hec superna infusio   
     in te fuit,
quod supernum Verbum
     in te carnem induit.
1. Hail, nobly born,
O Maiden, honored and inviolate.
You are the piercing gaze of chastity,
you the material of holiness—
the one who pleasèd God.

2. For heaven’s flood poured
     into you
as heaven’s Word was clothed
     in flesh in you.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Article Published: "Visio-Theological Designs in Hildegard of Bingen's Rupertsberg Scivias Manuscript"

I am pleased to announce that the full article upon which the paper I presented at the Kalamazoo conference earlier this year was based has now been published in the art history journal Eikón / Imago 4 (2013, Vol. 2, No. 2), pp. 1-68.

"Imago expandit splendorem suum: Hildegard of Bingen’s Visio-Theological Designs in the Rupertsberg Scivias Manuscript" can be viewed on the journal's website here or on my Academia.edu profile here.