Many thanks, John, for the clarification on Hildegard's status.

Knowing very little about her save for an appreciation of her
paintings/visions and her music, I *thought* I had read something about her
being hagiographically challenged.

Yep, that business about being a woman preacher would surely put her out of
the running with the present Board Members.

Re your suggestion that her visions were the result of ergot in her diet,
further thought (such as it is) leads me to think that, on the contrary,
regarding *her* we may have at least one case of visionary experiences 
which we can be reasonably *sure* was *not* caused by ergot.

My understanding is that true, honest-to-Dog ergot poisoning is a 
serious, serious matter, with extensive, painful and life-threatening symptoms
(e.g., inflamed and burning extremities, esp. the lips, nose, ears and eyes). 

That Our Lady was able to cure Hugo Farsit's patients in Soissons was thought
no small accomplishment.
(BTW St. Nicholas was also specific for St. Vitis' [is it?] Fire, I believe:
perhaps someone knows something more on this??)

And that, while not exactly rare, was not common, either (hence my 
thought about a correlation w/famine years).

H's visons in the _Scivias_ *alone* number--what--more than 100??
(To my art historian's eye they are remakable as much for their coherency
and consistancy as for their unique [some might say *off-the-wall*]
iconographic content.)

So, not only would she have to have been consuming quantities of
ergot-contaminated rye (also on wheat, no??) over time, but also would have
presented obvious and quite debilitating symptoms---as would 
**everyone else** in the community who consumed the same bread.

Justa thot.

Best from here,


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