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Pope continues audience talks on influential Christian women

September 29, 2010

At his weekly public audience on September 29, Pope Benedict XVI continued his series of talks on the influential women of the Middle Ages, speaking about St. Matilda of Hackeborn.

Born into a noble family in 1241 or 1242, St. Matilda entered religious life and soon became head of a convent school; later she became a choir director and mistress of novices. Her scholarship and spiritual insight, the Pope said, left “a particular imprint to the spirituality of the convent, causing it to flourish as a centre of mysticism and culture, a place of scientific and theological education."

Blessed with mystical visions, St. Matilda was widely renowned during the late 13th century as a counselor and teacher. The prayers that she composed, as well as her spiritual writings, earned her the title of “God’s nightingale.” Her commitment to the life of the Church was made manifest, the Pope said, in her insistence that her community should emphasize the Liturgy of the Hours. The Pope observed: “The liturgy is a great school of spirituality.”


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