Hildegard of Bingen: Scientist, Composer, Healer, and Saint
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Hildegard of Bingen: Scientist, Composer, Healer, and Saint

  • written & illustrated by: Demi

  • Juvenile Nonfiction / Religious / Biography






Date Available:

Available now


4 and up


10″ x 8.75″

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Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) was one of the most remarkable and influential women of her time. Blessed with an astonishing array of talents, she was at once a mystic, theologian, scientist, doctor, nutritionist, composer, writer, linguist, and artist.

Born to a noble family in Mainz, Germany, Hildegard entered a Benedictine monastery and went on to become abbess of a thriving community near Bingen. From a young age she received extraordinary “lights” or visions of Heaven, which she described in a book called Know the Ways (of God).

However, Hildegard made contibutions in many other areas as well. Her collection of imaginative music and poetry includes seventy-seven songs for the liturgical year and a morality play, making her the most prolific composer of early music in Europe. Her pioneering scientific work formed the basis for the study of natural history in Germany, while her holistic medical studies helped to provide cures for numerous diseases. Hildegard was also the author of a cookbook recommending nutritional “foods of joy” and she even invented a new language! Such was Hildegard’s fame and influence that bishops, popes, and kings, as well as humble peasants, sought out her wise counsel.

Today, Hildegard of Bingen is recognized as a saint and doctor by the Catholic Church and is also revered by many Lutherans and other Protestants. Find out more about her life in this beautifully illustrated book by award-winning author, Demi.

Demi is the award-winning author of over 130 bestselling children’s books, including JesusMarySaint Francis of AssisiJoan of ArcSaint Bernadette and the Miracles of Lourdes, and Talking to God. Her titles have sold over half a million copies. The Empty Pot was selected by former First Lady Barbara Bush as one of the books to be read on the ABC Radio Network Program Mrs. Bush’s Story Time, sponsored by the Children’s Literacy Initiative. Demi’s book Gandhi was named a New York Times Best Illustrated Book and received an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award. In addition, she represented the United States at the First International Children’s Book Conference in Beijing, China. She lives in Yarrow Point, WA.


  • Silver Medal in the “Nonfiction Children’s Books” category of the 2020 Midwest Book Awards
  • Finalist in the “Children’s Picture Book: Hardcover Non-Fiction” category of the 2020 Best Book Awards


  • “Demi tells the luminous story of St. Hildegard of Bingen who, as a child, ‘saw lights, and inside those lights were pictures of Heaven’ and could tell the future. Cloistered due to terrible headaches, Hildegard becomes a nun at 18, and her visions persist until she hears the voice of God beseeching her to ‘let your inside lights shine out.’ In response, she writes about the world she sees in her mind’s eye as well as works about natural history, medicine, and cookery. Her gifts to the world, including an invented alphabet and language, are also creative in nature: ‘So great was Hildegard’s secret land of lights, so energetic, so brilliant, and so full of ideas, that Hildegard was able to compose seventy-seven symphonic songs and an operatic morality play.’ Demi illustrates this passionate tribute in her characteristic art style, blending spare, open space; inky figurinelike forms; and ornate celestial accents.”

    – Publishers Weekly

  • “Intended for children ages 4-8, Hildegard of Bingen: Scientist, Composer, Healer & Saint is a picturebook about the life of Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179), an extraordinary, multitalented woman who was a mystic, abbess, scientist, doctor, composer, author, linguist, and artist. Her influence was astonishing, to the extent that bishops, popes, kings, and peasants asked her for counsel. Illustrated with colorful pictures inspired by classic medieval artwork, Hildegard of Bingen is highly recommended especially for school and public library children’s picturebook collections.”

    – Midwest Book Review

    , from a review in “Children’s Bookwatch”, April 2019, in the Biography Shelf

  • “Hildegard of Bingen: Scientist, Composer, Healer & Saint pairs gorgeous drawings by Demi with a biography that follows the journey of a girl who became a nun at age 18, taking the Benedictine habit. For some, this would have ended the story; but Hildegard saw visions and wrote them down, and these provided guidelines to living for God in a different manner than the Benedictine order fostered. Kids with good reading skills and an interest in this educated saint will find this an excellent introduction to her life.”

    – Midwest Book Review

    , from a review in “Children’s Bookwatch”, June 2019, in the Christian Shelf

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Sample Page Spreads from This Book

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