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Ave Generosa / Hymn to the Virgin – By St. Hildegard of Bingen

December 23, 2012

In the pupil of chastity’s eye
I beheld you
Generous maid! Know that it’s God
who broods over you.

For heaven flooded you like
unbodied speech
and you gave it a tongue.

lily: before all worlds
you lured the supernal one.

How he revelled
in your charms! how your beauty
warmed to his caresses
till you gave your breast to his child.

And your womb held joy when heaven’s
harmonies rang from you,
a maiden with child by God,
for in God your chastity blazed.

Yes your flesh held joy like the grass
when the dew falls, when heaven
freshens its green: O mother
of gladness, verdure of spring.

Ecclesia, flush with rapture! Sing
for Mary’s sake, sing
for the maiden, sing
for God’s mother. Sing!


(St. Hildegard of Bingen, 1098-1179)



The image at the top of this posting is of the 2002 sculpture by Margaret Adams Parker, entitled “Mary.” Parker writes: “I intended with this sculpture to depict the biblical Mary: a young Jewish girl, her abdomen still swollen from pregnancy. She cradles her infant protectively, encircling him with her arms. She is vulnerable, as is every new mother, through this child. But Mary’s vulnerability carries a special prescient awareness of future suffering. The text which came to mind when I had created this image was from Luke 2:35, Simeon’s words to Mary: ‘And a sword will pierce your heart also.’”

Embedded below is Hildegard’s beautiful “O Vis Aeternitatis,” performed by Sequentia.  


Advent 4

Last year’s Advent 4 posting can be accessed by clicking on the link below: “Joining in the ‘Yes’ of Mary” (December 22, 2011).

You are also invited to go to, and type in as your email address stpaulscalgary, and as your password God’s Grace, to access to the following three Advent reflections:
“0029. The Fourth Week of Advent”;
– “0030. Advent 4 Reflection (2011)”; and
– “0031. Advent Musings 4”.

An Advent 4C reflection by Rick Morley can be accessed by clicking here.

An Advent 4C reflection by Jan Richardson can be accessed by clicking here.

Advent 4 printed material is also available on the Advent Resources table in the Hall.

From → All Posts, Music, Quotes

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