May 28, 2016

O Ignee Spiritus (O Fiery Spirit)

O Ignee Spiritus is a hymn to the Holy Spirit by the German mystic Saint Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179). It begins: "O ignee Spiritus, laus tibi sit, qui in timpanis et citharis operaris (O fiery Spirit, praise to you, who on the tympana and lyre work and play!)". Complete Latin text, English translation, musical score, and commentary can be found here (opens in new window). Approved by her contemporaries: St. Bernard of Clairvaux and Pope Eugene III, in 2012 Benedict XVI formalized her canonization and declared Hildegard the 35th Doctor of the Universal Church, citing this 12th century Benedictine Abbess as "an authentic teacher of theology and a profound scholar of natural science and music."

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