Hildegard and Veriditas  

Posted by Joe Rawls

A frequently-used term in the writings of Hildegard of Bingen, whose feast we celebrate today, is veriditas.  Literally meaning "greenness" in Latin, it occurs in a number of contexts and the precise translation is a matter of some scholarly debate.  Jeanette Jones points out in this article that veriditas first shows up in the writings of Gregory the Great (specifically Moralia in Iob) with which Hildegard would have been familiar. 


...the word veriditas symbolizes an important concept of relating to God and to creation.  Creation is the metaphor for how the Christian flourishes.  As God created and sustains the earth, so He creates the "new life" of the Christian and causes this life to flourish.  Veriditas is a picture of this particular kind of thriving, one that is created and preserved by God...Both occasions of veriditas in the opening of Hildegard's  Liber divinorum operum are in a context of the union of God with creation, from the fields to the human being.  They paint a picture of the blessing and the life that results from communion with God...

...the word veriditas has a meaning with respect to a Christian's spiritual life that goes beyond mere references to life, fecundity, or freshness.  Veriditas implies a particular understanding of the nature of creation and the sovereignty of God.

This entry was posted on Monday, September 17, 2012 at Monday, September 17, 2012 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .



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