St. Hildegard von Bingen
Feast day: September 17
The saint for which the collective was named after, this Doctor of the Church hardly needs an introduction.
Born in 1098, Hildegard was a German Benedictine nun, mystic, composer, author, poet, and theologian. She became the abbess of her monastery after the death of its superior and her aunt, Blessed Jutta; and shortly after this, she moved the monastery to Bingen-on-the-Rhine. While among musicians she is best known for the stunning liturgical chants that she composed, she was also a much sought-after speaker to clergy and laity alike, and she stood up against Emperor Frederic Barbossa for supporting not one, but three different anti-popes. When she died in 1179, Hildegard left behind hundreds of writings, including theological manuscripts on music and accounts of the visions she was gifted by God with throughout her life.
St. Hildegard von Bingen, pray for us!
“There is the music of Heaven in all things.” - St. Hildegard von Bingen
Feast day: November 22
Although she is widely known as the patron saint of music, St. Cecilia likely never played an instrument.
Instead, legend has it that Cecilia sang songs to God in her heart while at her wedding reception – a wedding to a pagan Roman soldier that she did not want, as she had taken a vow of virginity and consecrated herself wholly to God. After converting her husband and his brother, who were subsequently caught by Roman authorities and executed, Cecilia was also discovered to be a Christian and was put to death in her home around the year 177 AD. Her body was exhumed in the year 1599 and was discovered to be incorrupt. Even her dress – embroidered in gold and covered in a light silk veil – was intact.
St. Cecilia, pray for us!
“Arise, soldiers of Christ, throw away the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.” - St. Cecilia
St. Elizabeth of the Trinity
Feast day: November 8
You may be wondering why a cloistered Carmelite nun is on the list of our patrons, or you might be wondering who St. Elizabeth of the Trinity is to begin with.
Elizabeth was born to a French naval captain and his wife in 1880. Her father died at a young age, and his wife knew her two daughters would likely need a way to earn money when they came of age. Elizabeth was enrolled in piano lessons at the local conservatory, and she took off. Praised for her musical sensitivity, she won many competitions and was well set up to teach piano lessons when she answered the call from God to become a Carmelite nun, leaving behind her beloved piano for the rest of her life. She died of Addison’s disease only a few years later in 1906. Her spiritual writings, many of which were letters addressed to lay members of the Church, contain a wonderful message concerning spiritual growth that is perfect for the laity of the Church today.
St. Elizabeth of the Trinity, pray for us!
“It seems to me that I have found my heaven on earth, because my heaven is you, my God, and you are in my soul. You in me, and I in you – may this be my motto.”
- St. Elizabeth of the Trinity
St. Alphonsus Liguori
Feast day: August 1
The patron of confessors, moral theologians, and the lay apostolate, St. Alphonsus Liguori was also a talented composer and musician. In fact, one of Italy’s most popular Christmas carols, Tu Scende Dalle Stelle, was composed by Alphonsus when he was still a seminarian.
Having practiced law at the behest of his father, Alphonsus never lost a case in the few years he practiced law, until his last. It was after this that Alphonsus answered the call to become a priest. He founded the Redemptorist order and wrote several works on moral theology that are still considered important by theologians today. Alphonsus suffered greatly from rheumatism in the later portion of his life, relegating him to a wheelchair and permanently leaving him with a crooked neck. In spite of this, he continued to write books and lead his congregation. He died in the year 1787.
St. Alphonsus Liguori, pray for us!
“I love Jesus Christ and that is why I am on fire with the desire to give Him souls, first of all my own, and then an incalculable number of others.” - St. Alphonsus Liguori