Viriditas is a guiding theme, used constantly in Hildegard’s works. It has been translated in various ways, such as greening, freshness, vitality, fruitfulness, life-force, or growth.
It is a metaphor for spiritual and physical health.
Viriditas (Latin, literally “greenness,” formerly translated as “viridity”) is a word meaning vitality, fecundity, lushness, verdure, or growth. It is particularly associated with abbess Hildegard von Bingen, who used it to refer to or symbolize spiritual and physical health, often as a reflection of the divine word or as an aspect of the divine nature.
Her medical writings are still consulted by alternative health practitioners, and involve the curative powers of natural objects, including plants, animals, trees and gem stones.
Even though she apparently suffered from chronic ill health, including migraines, she lived far longer and more vigorously than most women of her time – the embodiment of Viriditas.
Below are a few connections relating to Viriditas.
We welcome your contributions!
“Like blood, viriditas moves through human veins and without it, humans become weak and tired and they lack spirituality. It is restored only through eating; fortunately, she spells out which foods are harmful or useful. For example, feverfew has good viriditas and thus creates clear understanding, augments good blood,and aids digestion.”
“O most honored Greening Force,
You who roots in the Sun;
You who lights up, in shining serenity, within a wheel
that earthly excellence fails to comprehend.
You are enfolded in the weaving of divine mysteries.
You redden like the dawn
and you burn: flame of the Sun.”
– Hildegard von Bingen, Viriditas
“Look at the pattern this seashell makes. The dappled whorl, curving inward to infinity. That’s the shape of the universe itself. There’s a constant pressure, pushing toward pattern. A tendency in matter to evolve into ever more complex forms. It’s a kind of pattern gravity, a holy greening power we call viriditas, and it is the driving force in the cosmos. Life, you see.” – science fiction author Kim Stanley Robinson
Always a work-in-progress…
please check back soon –
and send us your suggestions!
Gregory the Great was instrumental in promoting and preserving Art and Music within the Church, despite great criticism.
Please see Pope Gregory’s page at Saints Preserved. His feast day is also in September.